Nearly half a million dollars in federal funding has been budgeted to help finalize a national ID and traceability plan for Canada’s sheep and goat sectors.
The government on Monday announced over $487,000 for the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) and the Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF) to set up “various communications products” and educate the industry on the benefits of traceability.
The project, backed by the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (CIFSI), is expected to help ensure all producers have access to and are educated on traceability equipment, the government said.
“In recent years there has been a continual increase in the demand for sheep and lamb products, which represents significant opportunity for growth and long-term stability of the industry if capitalized upon within the next few years,” Andrew Gordanier, a sheep producer at Shelburne in southwestern Ontario and chair of the CSF board, said in the government’s release.
“A critical success factor for capitalizing upon this opportunity is the industry’s ability to address the increasing demand for traceability — providing feedback and information to the consumer about where their food and other products are coming from.”
CIFSI, set up within the Growing Forward ag funding policy framework to back food safety systems development and traceability infrastructure, invests in “industry-led” systems to boost tracking and tracing capacity.
“Traceability will give our sheep and goat farmers and exporters another tool to demonstrate the high quality of their products and help them compete in the international marketplace,” Ontario MP Pierre Lemieux, the federal parliamentary secretary for agriculture, said in Monday’s release.
Monday’s announcement follows about $491,000 pledged in February last year from the federal AgriFlexibility Fund for the CSF and CNGF to work on industry-wide education efforts focused on ID and traceability, and for more work on the CSF’s Canadian Sheep Identification Program.