KAMLOOPS, British Columbia – An investment of up to $3 million is being made to help the Canadian beef industry develop new marketing opportunities, announced Member of Parliament Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. This investment is in addition to the Government of British Columbia's recent $2 million (US$1.9 million) investment that will fund projects recommended by B.C'.s Ranching Task Force.

"Canadian beef producers are the best in the world and can be proud of their long-standing history of producing safe, high-quality products for Canadians and world markets," McLeod said. "By investing in new market opportunities and research projects, the Government of Canada is helping farmers and food processors increase production and sales, ensuring they remain competitive and profitable into the future."

Projects could include, among others: supporting trade missions to access emerging markets; producer education to meet consumer demands; new product development and branding; and consumer education initiatives to increase the demand for beef domestically.

"We value our partnership with the federal government and the timing is ideal for this funding, as it complements the $2 million (US$1.9 million) B.C. is also investing in ranching," said Terry Lake, Parliamentary Secretary for the Ranching Task Force. "The beef industry is worth more than $250 million (US$235 million) to the provincial economy and the hard work of B.C.'s Ranching Task Force is ensuring our 4,000-plus ranches remain healthy and vibrant."

This federal investment is made through the AgriFlexibility Fund, a five-year, $500 million (US$469 million) fund created to: help reduce costs of production and improve environmental sustainability for the sector; promote value-chain innovation and sectoral adaptation, and respond to emerging opportunities and market challenges for the sector.