The Ontario Corn Fed Beef program is receiving national recognition.
The program, which is managed by the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association, received the 2016 Beef Industry Innovation and Sustainability Award at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s annual meeting in Ottawa on Thursday.
“Ontario Corn Fed Beef is a success story that could serve as a blueprint for branded programs across Canada that promote the Canadian Beef Advantage,” said CCA president Dave Solverson.
Since starting in 2001, the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program has grown into the largest producer-owned branded beef program in the country. In 2014 and 2015, the program produced over 546,000 head of certified cattle.
Ontario Corn Fed Beef quality grade and source specifications are certified by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency and the program is restricted to only beef with a grade of Canada AA or higher.
Solverson noted the success of the brand can be attributed to enhanced communication between producers, processors and others in the value chain.
The brand is featured in more than 360 grocery stores and retail outlets across Ontario, and distributed to fine restaurants through major restaurant and food service providers such as Sysco Canada and Morton’s Wholesale. The program expanded into Japan last year, with product featured in more than 40 stores in Osaka. It’s also moving into the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries under the Canada Corn Fed Beef name.
“This award is great recognition for our producers and the OCFB brand,” said Jim Clark, executive director of the Ontario Cattle Feeders Association, who accepted the award at the CCA meeting. “Consistent high quality beef produced with transparent and sustainable practices is core to our promise made to consumers at home and around the world, so it’s wonderful to have others in our industry celebrate that.”