GFM Network News


Temple Grandin has been a tough critic of the livestock sector but now the industry needs to talk about how it’s changed for the better, 
she recently told attendees at a livestock conference in Olds.

Audits and blogs: How to drive change and win over consumers

Temple Grandin has long been an agent of change and says individual farmers can be, too

Livestock producers, you are doing good things — at least Temple Grandin thinks so. “I have been in this industry for 45 years, and there has been a lot of improvement,” she said at Alberta Farm Animal Care’s Livestock Care Conference last month. But the problem is that so few people — including, sometimes, producers […] Read more

Cargill to replace chicken plant’s stunning system

Agrifood firm Cargill has budgeted $22 million to swap out an electric stunning system at its London, Ont. chicken processing plant in favour of a new controlled atmospheric stunning (CAS) system. The CAS system, expected to be up and running this spring, “will help reduce handling stress with chickens, resulting in a higher-quality, more consistent […] Read more


The revised Beef Code of Practice a win for everyone

Beef 911: Everyone involved in the cattle industry should keep a copy handy and consult it frequently

There has been a lot written about the revised Beef Code of Practice, which was released in 2013 and was the first revision since 1991. It is most definitely worth a read, whether you are a beef producer, transporter, marketer, nutritionist, veterinarian, or are involved with the cattle industry in any way. At 56 pages, […] Read more

Joyce Van Donkersgoed demonstrates processing techniques to students from Olds College.


Get rid of your cattle if they’re getting too big

Heavier cattle — particularly ones with small frames — can develop 
feet problems, especially if they suffer heat stress

Don’t keep big, fat cattle around because it could increase animal welfare problems. Animal welfare icon Temple Grandin has recently been sounding alarms about more lameness in beef cattle and part of that is related to heavier weights and genetics. “There are certain genetic lines of beef cattle that are repeating a mistake the pig […] Read more


We no longer have the luxury of time in making changes

When consumers decide a livestock practice is wrong, 
they expect changes to be made immediately

We used to believe — and many companies still do — that we could maintain consumer trust by going through the exercise of a food safety or production protocol. We have discovered in this very tribal age of transparency, this is not sufficient. Consumers are expecting actions to be taken and are moving away from […] Read more

Adrienne Ivey (left) says Earls’ decision to source Certified Humane beef was all about marketing and while Ben Campbell (right) didn’t like the decision either, he also says beef producers need to “shift our paradigm.”

The great divide: Earls controversy has larger implications for beef industry

A move to woo customers with ‘certified humane’ beef ignited a firestorm — and highlighted the gap between producers and consumers

The decision by Earls Restaurants to stop using Canadian beef and move to American “certified humane” proved short-lived, but the issue is much bigger than one restaurant’s choice of suppliers. Earls quickly reversed the decision that sent waves of displeasure through the beef industry. But the controversy has highlighted both consumers’ lack of knowledge about […] Read more


Earls retreats from U.S. beef sourcing

Canadian upscale-casual dining chain Earls Restaurants has pulled back from its recent public commitment to the “Certified Humane Beef” brand. Mo Jessa, president of Vancouver-based Earls, said Wednesday the company will instead begin to “work with local ranchers to build our supply of Alberta beef that meets our criteria” for animal care and treatment. The […] Read more

Earls ups ante on beef sourcing

Vancouver-based Earls Restaurants, owner of the upscale-casual dining chain Earls Kitchen + Bar, has gone all in on Certified Humane Beef — but has also gone outside Canada to get it. The company, which operates 59 Earls restaurants in Canada and seven in the U.S., on Tuesday billed itself as the first North American chain […] Read more


The time has come to rethink single-trait selection

Temple Grandin was right about animal welfare, and she’s right 
about respecting the dual purpose of food animals, too

I am a big fan of Dr. Temple Grandin. A long time ago we stood in a small community hall in Alberta with 60 farmers in attendance. She talked about an animal’s reaction to light, movement, and sound, and encouraged producers to see their facilities through the eyes of their livestock. I talked about shrinkage […] Read more

Temple Grandin.

Temple Grandin in Calgary

Renowned animal welfare expert Temple Grandin will be the keynote speaker at the Canadian Livestock Transport conference in Calgary on May 5-6. Grandin will speak about overcoming adversity on May 5 and give a presentation on animal welfare the following day. The Innovation, Education and Awareness conference will also have sessions on hog transport research, […] Read more