2016 in Review
Many significant factors that tempered the progress of 2016 will require us to sharpen the competitive edge of the Canadian beef industry.
However, other factors in 2016 tempered this progress, requiring industry to sharpen its competitive edge. Prices continued to be under pressure as the market readjusted to increasing cattle numbers and larger North American meat production. A renewed focus in Canada on a carbon tax and flighting climate change brought sustainable beef production to the fore. A changing political landscape in the U.S. brought uncertainty regarding the status of multilateral trade agreements of benefit to Canada’s producers.
To enhance industry competitiveness in international and domestic markets, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) actively engaged in the national Agricultural Policy Framework consultations to ensure a strong emphasis on research, science and innovation. With the Canadian beef sector already a global leader in environmental sustainability, as shown by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef’s National Beef Sustainability Assessment, CCA worked to ensure the broader benefits of beef production in terms of conservation, stewardship and sustainability, are well understood by the federal government and reflected in any new policy directions.
A number of successes in breaking down barriers in international markets were achieved in 2016. Expanded access to Mexico, Taiwan and China marked significant results for the Canadian beef sector. Improved access to international markets with an appetite for high quality Canadian beef supports the demand
pillar of the National Beef Strategy.
The CCA utilized its relationships with U.S. allies following the U.S. election, who were successful in persuading the Trump transition team to delete a reinstatement of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) as an objective from the Trump trade policy plan. This outcome demonstrates the value of CCA maintaining its relationships in Washington, D.C., and throughout the U.S.
In the fall, Canada was notified that a case of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) had been found. The CCA was invited to lend our expertise to the investigation, a first from an industry-government collaboration perspective. The CCA worked closely with both federal and provincial officials and ministers to ensure financial assistance was provided to the producers under quarantine in this non-trade impacting event. Another notable moment of 2016 was the successful launch of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Much work remains to be done going forward and by working together CCA will continue to ensure long-term competitiveness for
“The year brought significant market access developments with the expansion of beef access to China, Mexico and Taiwan.”
2016 President’s Report
- CCA President -
The volatility of the cattle market in 2016, punctuated by very large and rapid market changes over the past three years, has left many cattle producers on edge as 2017 gets underway. At present, it is somewhat unfortunate that the extreme volatility has overshadowed the positive market situation. The start of 2017 saw calf prices back over $200/cwt, and in some cases feedlots making over $200/head. Traditionally, this would be considered very strong market conditions, but uncertainty and recent extremely high prices has made keeping perspective difficult.
In the fall, Canada was notified that a case of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) had been found. The CCA was invited by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Western Area Emergency Operations Centre to lend our expertise to the bTB investigation. This is a first from an industry-government collaboration and CCA shared these duties with Alberta Beef Producers. The CCA worked closely with both federal and provincial officials and government ministers to provide financial assistance to the producers under quarantine.
In terms of the impact to the Canadian industry, one case of bTB does not impact our trade status nor change Canada’s TB-free status relative to the OIE Codes and the Canadian Health of Animals Regulations. One case can involve several positive animals but is still considered one case if, through the investigation, they are found to be connected. Canada’s status can be impacted if another unrelated case is confirmed within 48 months.
The CFIA epidemiological investigation continues in the new year. This large undertaking requires several streams of investigative work to trace the movement of animals for the past five years, and resources to complete the testing and analysis of the test results. As trace-outs and trace-ins from the original infected premises proceed, producers can expect to see the number of premises quarantined to increase. At the same time, some quarantines may also be removed. This is expected and an important part of the investigation, which is expected to take
The CCA is monitoring the investigation closely and communicates with CFIA on a regular basis and will update members of any developments
impacting Canada’s trade status. Another source of uncertainty is around what the year ahead will bring with our largest trading partner. At time of writing, the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 had yet to occur. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet, signaling that he is preparing for the incoming Trump Administration. Former International Trade Minister, Chrystia Freeland was appointed Canada’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs. François-Philippe Champagne was named the new Minister of International Trade.
I am pleased to report to you as President of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). There were many interesting developments in 2016, not the least of which occurred in November with the changing political landscape in the U.S. The year brought significant market access developments with the expansion of beef access to China, Mexico and Taiwan, and the successful launch of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference as envisioned under the connectivity pillar of the National Beef Strategy.
2016 Executive Vice President’s Report
- CCA EVP -
Another year has come and gone. The year 2016 brought with it a stark reminder of the competitive forces that can challenge our industry. It also raised many questions about price discovery in the North American market.
In my previous report to you in 2015, I began by commenting about the change in the political landscape in Canada with the election of the new Trudeau government federally and the Notley government in Alberta. I also mentioned the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) approach to work effectively with the new federal government and to support the work of our provincial members. I am pleased to report that we have established a strong rapport with the federal government.
“The year 2016 brought with it a stark reminder of the competitive forces that can challenge our industry. It also raised many questions about price discovery in the North American market.”
As it turned out, the political changes in Canada paled in comparison to the events that occurred on the global stage in 2016.
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States tops them all and moves U.S. politics into uncharted territory. This coupled with the congressional elections where the Republicans maintained their majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate sets the stage for major change in U.S. policy.
Across the ocean, there was Brexit where the United Kingdom (U.K.) voted to leave the European Union (EU). It was another vote for change that will lead to major shifts in policy there as well. Longer term, the departure of the U.K. will test the durability of the EU. To some degree, the Brexit vote assisted in the approval of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU, as the EU stepped forward to demonstrate it would continue to govern effectively.
Heading south, the change in government in Argentina, albeit in late 2015, signals a new conservative outward policy environment that will favour exports, including beef. After the president of Brazil was impeached over allegations of corruption, the new president appears to be cracking down through a series of investigations.
In Asia, South Korea voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye. What all this means for Canada’s beef industry is still unclear, but the general shift is against status quo and towards reducing the regulatory burden in the U.S., the U.K., and Argentina. One thing is certain – the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is not moving forward. The CCA is already advocating Plan B – the completion of Canada’s bilateral negotiations with Japan.
More generally, there is a growing anti-trade sentiment that is very troubling and that must be met head-on. In October, the International Beef Alliance (formerly the Five Nations Beef Alliance) committed to work together to address this challenge and to promote the many merits of trade liberalization and the need to tackle and eliminate non-tariff trade barriers.
On the positive side, Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland (appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in January 2017) deserve recognition for stepping up to champion the many benefits of global trade. Both were instrumental in getting the CETA approved in Europe.
South of the border, the CCA plans to be active with our many friends and allies in the U.S. Canada is the largest export customer for almost all large U.S. agricultural producing states. Canada purchases around $714 per capita of U.S. agricultural products while the U.S. purchases around $69 per capita of Canadian agricultural products. Canada is their top customer and their closest ally. If NAFTA is to be reopened, we are prepared for that discussion, with a list of unfinished work dating back to 1989.
2016 Division Reports
2016 Committee Reports
2016 Provincial Association Reports
© 2017 Canadian Cattlemen's Association