Verified Beef Production Plus

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The Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+) program grew from its roots in the Quality Starts Here (QSH) program. QSH and its successors are an educational initiative to help the beef industry move toward the highest beef quality in the world through training and on-farm verification of practices relating to food safety and beef quality.

The VBP+ program builds on the success of the QSH program by adding the ability to train producers and certify on-farm practices related to animal care, environmental stewardship and biosecurity, as well as food safety.

 

In August 2018 VBP+ was officially recognized by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) as a Certification Body for the CRSB’s Certified Sustainable Beef Framework. VBP+ had been working diligently with CRSB to achieve this recognition for a number of years. The milestone means that all VBP+ Certified Operations are also considered Certified Operations under the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework. We see this as a major positive step towards simplification of the sustainability initiative in the eyes of Canadian beef producers and accessibility for beef producers to the benefits of sustainable beef production.

 

VBP+ is also involved with the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) pilot. The CBSA pilot is led by Cargill, BIXS, and VBP+ and hopes to:
(i) build the supply of beef intended to be able to meet the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework; and (ii) figure out the infrastructure necessary for sourcing beef tracked through a fully certified value chain.

 

 

The CBSA pilot launched for an initial one-year period in October 2017. It has since been extended indefinitely while Cargill develops a program for certified sustainable beef, meaning that the pilot was successful and there is sufficient end-user demand. The current bottleneck remains having adequate numbers of calves qualifying, therefore, VBP+ is continuing its push to get more producers audited and fully certified. The CBSA pilot has been successful at identifying potential areas of improvement throughout the certified sustainable beef value chain. In 2019 work will continue, involving CRSB and the CBSA pilot partners (including VBP+), to make these improvements and ensure that all parts of the value chain are well positioned to make it as easy as possible for Canadian beef producers to access the benefits of beef sustainability initiatives. VBP+ has chosen to move forward with the implementation of a two-stream approach to delivering the VBP+ program, auditing and training. The auditing program will result in certified operations which qualify for the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework.
VBP+ plans to build on its existing training program with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. The training will be improved by adding an assessment element, renewal criteria and further learning modules, and development of materials to improve the ease of delivery to producers. Work is starting right away to develop the training stream. Training will be delivered to individuals (as opposed to beef cattle operations) and will not be geared for value chain programs but rather for broad adoption by producers to improve production metrics industry-wide. The VBP+ program is a core pillar in championing and verifying sustainable beef production. VBP+ will continually increase its ability to deliver knowledge and practices related to sustainable production to producers while concurrently, in concert with entities like the CRSB, Public and Stakeholder Engagement, and Canada Beef, help communicate the great job Canadian beef producers are doing on their farms and ranches to consumers and the public through various forms of verification and reporting.

© 2019 Canadian Cattlemen's Association