The Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) met last week at the Alberta Beef Industry Conference for their Annual General Meeting, where a resounding 75 percent of the membership voted in favour of pursuing an agreement that is being called the “New Era Beef Industry.”
This agreement, if successful, will see a change to the check-off allocation (predicated on it becoming non-refundable), with $0.05 going to collectors and remitters, $1.30 to Alberta Beef Producers (ABP), $0.25 to ACFA, and $0.40 to an Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund.
“So what this will do is provide some stable funding,” says Bryan Walton, CEO of Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association. “Both organizations will continue to exist on their own, but we will come to the table in both parties to decide on how the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund will be used for the best way to drive the industry forward.”
“We are excited by the possibility of creating the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund which will represent an opportunity for our industry to come together and make investments that will make it stronger and more profitable,” says Charlie Christie, chair of ABP.
Bryan Walton, CEO of Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, joins RealAgriculture’s Debra Murphy, to talk about the new agreement, and the potential for future collaboration/amalgamation with the Alberta Beef Producers.
The whole process will see ACFA working with ABP. The collaboration, according to Walton, will include review periods to ensure the changes are benefiting both parties.
“We are proud of the hard work both organizations have put in over the last few years to get to this point,” says Christie. “Historically, ABP and ACFA have agreed on the majority of arising industry issues and we look forward to capitalizing on the value and experience of both individual organizations under this renewed commitment to collaboration within the industry.”
“Our target is to get this done by January 1, 2019,” says Walton, adding there are regulatory changes (and a possible plebiscite) that will need to be made in order to move forward.
“I think that what we’re trying to do is focus on the future, focus on moving things forward, maybe burying some of the old territorial disputes…but it has to be fair and continue to be conducted in good faith.”