KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – Canadian and British Columbian government investments in three projects will benefit British Columbian beef producers by increasing the industry's profitability through consumer education and improved market information, government officials claim. 

Improved consumer education programs and providing better market profiles for British Columbian beef producers to ensure profitability opportunities are some of the goals behind the BCCA program.

An investment of approximately $900,000 under the Canada-British Columbia Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative will help the British Columbia Cattlemen's Association (BCCA) to:
• Develop education programs for the public to learn about the beef industry and product attributes.
• Profile the British Columbia beef industry, giving producers up-to-date and accurate market information to assess their growth potential and become more profitable.
• Implement a research project to develop a beef value chain marketing strategy.

"Our government's top priority remains the economy, and British Columbia's beef industry plays an important role in keeping our economy strong," said Member of Parliament Cathy McLeod (Kamloops - Thompson - Cariboo). "Through this investment, beef producers will have the information and knowledge they need to get better returns from the marketplace, and the public will benefit from more information on both the industry and its products."

"These projects will allow ranchers to expand opportunities and market-share both domestically and overseas, which are key components of the BC Jobs Plan," said Member of the Legislative Assembly Kevin Krueger (Kamloops-South Thompson),. "As a government, we are working with ranchers throughout the province to ensure high-quality, great-tasting BC beef is the preferred option for consumers here at home and around the world."

The BCCA, which represents the interests of beef cattle producers, represents nearly 1,200 ranchers and approximately 72 percent of the provincial cattle herd. "The combined investment by the federal and provincial governments into these three projects is crucial for both the beef industry and the British Columbia consumer. As producers, it is important that we learn and understand the needs of the consumer so we are better able to supply their demands," said Judy Guichon, BCCA president.
In August 2010, the Canadian federal government committed $3 million plus a $2 million provincial investment for British Columbia's beef industry. The federal funding investment is made through the Agricultural Flexibility Fund, a five-year (2009-14) program created to help reduce production costs, improve environmental sustainability, promote innovation and respond to emerging opportunities and market challenges for the sector.

The Canada-British Columbia Ranching Task Force Funding Initiative is administered by the Province of British Columbia with assistance from the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia.