LLOYDMINSTER, ALBERTA — The government of Canada is investing more than C$1 million ($998,000) in the Canadian Cervid Alliance to help the cervid industry capture new market opportunities and respond to the growing consumer demand for full traceability in livestock and poultry.

"This investment is another step towards reaching our goal of national traceability for livestock and poultry by 2011," said Gerry Ritz, Agriculture Minister.

Two projects will be funded by the Canadian Integrated Food Safety Initiative (C.I.F.S.I.) that will help producers provide on-farm traceability assurance and proactively manage risks. The projects are:

• C$673,500 ($672,065) to develop a national traceability system by gathering, storing and analyzing traceability data for farmed cervids, which include deer, elk, caribou, moose and reindeer.

• C$361,400 ($360,636) to help build a national food-safety system, the Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points-based cervix on-farm, food-safety system (O.F.F.S.).

"Market Access is critical for the farmed deer and elk industry in Canada," said Randy Wehrkamp, president of the Canadian Cervid Alliance. "These projects will provide enhanced quality assurances and increased marketability for our antler and meat products to consumers in Canada and in international markets."

This project is being funded by Growing Forward, an initiative created to help position Canadian farmers for success.