Public and Stakeholder Engagement

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PUBLIC AND STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM As part of the Connectivity and Beef Demand Pillars in the National Beef Strategy This fall marks the first year of a fully funded Public and Stakeholder Engagement Program (PSE) through the increased Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. Collection began April 1, 2018 and today, most provinces have allocated between three and six per cent of their national check-off dollars to the PSE Program, which will provide an annual budget of approximately $500,000 to $600,000. In addition to this change, the team has developed a collaborative agreement with Canada Beef that formalizes our strong working relationship on addressing public and consumer questions or misperceptions. While many of the public trust issues we work on are production related (i.e. consumers asking questions about how we raise cattle), product-centric issues such as food safety and nutrition also need to be addressed. As part of this agreement, a 25 per cent portion of the PSE budget will be allocated to Canada Beef to help address public trust issues, in collaboration with the PSE Manager and team. The core of the program will continue to be administered through the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and the PSE Manager will continue to report to both CCA Senior Management and the Canadian Beef Advisors. Jill Harvie was selected as the new PSE Manager and assumed the role from Tom Lynch-Staunton as he transitioned to a full-time government relations role with Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), effective September 1, 2018. Stina Nagel continues to work for the PSE program as the Stakeholder Engagement Advisor and has transitioned from being a direct employee of CCA to being fully funded through the PSE program. Three areas of focus as we move the PSE program from pilot mode to establishment have been building a proposed structure, 2019-2020 budgeting and connecting with stakeholder groups. A PSE program structure proposal was presented the Canadian Beef Advisors in draft form mid-December, for further discussion at the next face-to-face meeting January 2019. This proposal identified gaps observed in the pilot and recommended a path forward. The budgeting process for 2019-2020 is also well underway. One area of investment that is being evaluated is a tool that will aid trained Beef Advocacy Canada (BAC) spokespeople in sharing common messages on social media across the nation in a proficient and professional manner. At the beginning of November, the national communications managers met for a call with updates on the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) project, current issues, and devise a plan to address the upcoming UN report on climate change. Lastly, we have been aiding Canada Beef and the Productors de Bovins du Quebec (FPBQ) with several labelling concerns with positive progress. During the late fall, the Canadian beef industry, led by PSE, became a member of the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity (CCFI). This membership will allow for greater access to public facing research, advocacy tools and training. We have spent a considerable amount of time monitoring and responding to media on the following issues over the last two months: plant-based proteins and other meat alternatives, climate change, and Canada’s Food Guide, including addressing concerns about beef nutrition and environmental impact. A productive meeting took place with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) during Canadian Beef Industry Conference and follow up continues, including the proposal of a video next summer which will be included in the 2019-2020 budget. Progress is underway on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) for our CAAP project with Canada Beef. The intention of the $184,000 project is to provide our industry with customizable tools and information to address consumer questions as quickly and as cost effectively as possible. As part of this framework, social media training modules will be live on the Beef Advocacy Canada (BAC) website in December 2018. A best practices social media communications plan and a consumer communications tool kit for provincial organizations is currently being shipped to 30 communications managers across the country. Lastly, a booklet called “Where Does Canadian Beef Come From?” has been developed with stakeholder input. The booklet is being co-branded for the various associations / groups and available for download on the Canada Beef Resources Library.

Beef Advocacy Canada

BAC is excited to add to our suite of advocacy resources with three new online training modules aimed at social media literacy. The three modules will be arranged in increasing difficulty, with information for both the new social media user and the social aficionado trying to expand their reach. Users will be expected to graduate from the first two BAC courses before moving on to the social media modules. Funded through contributions matched by the CAAP program, the modules (like the existing BAC courses) will be online based and free to use. The BAC Twitter (@beefadvocacy) and Facebook pages shared messages related to the launch, including a launch video on December 13. Please visit beefadvocacy.ca to check out our current course offering.

 

Activities

With the new industry membership in CCFI, Harvie co-hosted the Public Trust Summit banquet with Farm Credit Canada’s Marty Seymour on November 13th. The day prior to the Public Trust Summit, Harvie and Nagel attended the Public Trust Steering Committee, the multi-sector initiative developed to address public trust across agriculture, held in conjunction with the Public Trust Summit. The PSE program also presented at the Beef Value Chain Roundtable and the ABP Annual General Meeting. Heading into the new year, the Young Cattlemen’s Council have been asked to present at the Saskatchewan Young Ag Entrepreneurs Conference on BAC. Later in January, an intensive media training session with Cohn & Wolfe is set to take place. Moving into February, during Canada’s Agriculture Day celebrations in Ottawa, Harvie will moderate a fireside chat, The future of proteins, with Sonya Roberts of Cargill on the company’s investment in meat alternatives.

 

On behalf of the PSE team, we would like to thank the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency for their support and guidance as we work towards building an effective PSE program. With the increase in funding to the program over the coming months, the team will be able to invest in more initiatives and projects that will help build public trust across Canada.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Jill Harvie

Public and Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

© 2019 Canadian Cattlemen's Association