Cattle, beef market fund’s scope expands in Alta.

The Canadian Beef and Cattle Market Development Fund will expand its scope in Alberta to allow more types of applicants and support a wider range of projects.

The “Legacy Fund,” as it’s often called, was created in 2005 with $80 million in public funds as part of the federal and Alberta governments’ response to the 2003 discovery of BSE in the Canadian cattle herd.

The changes follow revisions to the agreement between the province and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), the provincial government said in a release Wednesday. The CCA has until now overseen the fund’s activities through the Canadian Cattlemen Market Development Council.

“We’re still feeling the impact of trade restrictions from BSE, but we know there is tremendous opportunity to develop market access for Alberta beef and cattle genetics,” provincial Agriculture Minister George Groeneveld said in the province’s release.

The Alberta-CCA agreement on the fund’s use will now be administered by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), set up by the province in January to oversee sustainable development of the province’s livestock and meat industry.

“We know Alberta’s role as a major exporter of livestock and meat is eroding, even though meat consumption grows two per cent annually,” ALMA chair Joe Makowecki said in the province’s release. “Both of these initiatives offer support to projects to provide global customers with the products they are demanding.”

The Legacy Fund is meant to support eligible export marketing activities completed through national marketing organizations such as the Beef Information Centre, the Canada Beef Export Federation and the Canadian Beef Breeds Council.

As well, eligible Alberta companies or organizations that propose innovative marketing initiatives using Alberta beef products will be considered for funding through the Alberta International Beef Marketing Development Fund (AIBMDF), backed by the Legacy Fund.

The list of eligible activities and range of potential applicants eligible for support from the Legacy Fund has now been expanded to include market development and trade advocacy initiatives that “offer the potential to maintain or increase exports of Alberta beef and cattle genetic products, including value-added products.”

Any individual or organization in Canada with either, or both, ability and a track record of success in carrying out marketing and market development projects in areas potentially useful to the Canadian beef industry can apply for Legacy Fund support.

Applications for federal funding, however, must be submitted through one of the existing marketing organizations (BIC, CBEF or CBBC).

Specific to AIBMDF, eligible applicants include marketing organizations, beef packers, other industry organizations and Alberta companies that “offer the potential to maintain or increase exports of Alberta beef and cattle genetic products.”

“Key participants” with an export marketing plan for Alberta cattle and beef, as well as beef and cattle genetics international market development projects, are eligible.

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