Canadian Cattle Association discusses trade and other key issues with European Union representatives
The Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) welcomed the opportunity to discuss trade, sustainability, food security, and other pressing topics with the broader agricultural community last week in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI).
The NA/EU Farm Leaders Conference is a bi-annual event that brings together farm leaders from the European Union (EU) and North America to discuss the pressing issues affecting agriculture and to collaborate and share ideas on how to work towards solutions.
This year’s conference saw approximately 250 representatives from EU member states, as well as from Canada, Mexico, and the United States of America participate in these important discussions.
CCA was glad to join the conference and sponsor beef for the gala, alongside Atlantic Beef Products. In many discussions throughout the conference and during addresses at the gala and the session on international trade, CCA President Nathan Phinney emphasized the sustainability of the Canadian beef sector and advocated for rules and science-based trade between North America, the EU, and the United Kingdom.
CCA also participated in an emergency animal preparedness roundtable with livestock representatives from North America and the EU/UK. Nathan reiterated the importance of international cooperation and taking preventative actions to avoid the spread of diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), a long-time advocacy ask for CCA that was included in the 2023 Canadian Federal Budget:
Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly transmissible illness that can affect cattle, pigs, and other cloven-hoofed animals. Recent outbreaks in Asia and Africa have increased the risk of global spread, and a FMD outbreak in Canada would cut off exports for all livestock sectors, with major economic implications. However, the impact of a potential outbreak would be significantly reduced with the early vaccination of livestock.
Budget 2023 proposes to provide $57.5 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, with $5.6 million ongoing, to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to establish a FMD vaccine bank for Canada, and to develop FMD response plans. The government will seek a cost-sharing arrangement with provinces and territories.
During the conference, Nathan was able to have informal conversations with EU and UK farmers on the trade priorities of Canadian beef farmers.