The 2012 MCEC Annual Report is now online. You can view and download it here, along with other past reports. The Annual Report was presented at MCEC’s annual general meeting which was held Thursday, April 4, 2013 at MCEC’s offices.
MCEC has changed its email addresses. For general information, please contact us at email@example.com
Winnipeg, January 28, 2012 - The Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council congratulates Plains Processors of Carman, Manitoba for its continued progress on plans to upgrade its facility to become a federally-inspected beef plant.
“MCEC is pleased to be one of the funding partners on this project,” said Kate Butler, MCEC’s Executive Director who attended the plant’s sod-turning on Saturday. “We’re delighted to be working with other investors and lenders as the plant finalizes its plans.”
As part of its mandate to strengthen the Manitoba beef industry, MCEC announced financing of up to $920,000 for the project in 2011.
“This is a positive initiative for the producers and the economy of this province,” said Butler. “It’s a smaller plant making progress on offering access to local and export markets for Manitoba producers. Over time our goal is to help develop a diverse, sustainable number of federally-inspected beef plants here in Manitoba. Plains Processors has been working very hard to advance this project. We came to the table early with terms that are tailored to the best possible outcome for producers in this specific project.”
The Manitoba beef industry will remain at risk of trade disruptions until the province becomes home to federally-inspected plants like this one. The 2003 BSE crisis and the more recent XL Foods closure both affected Manitoba producers more severely than their peers elsewhere. Both episodes are clear warnings of what can happen if Manitoba producers don’t have good, export-capable marketing options for their animals.
“There is a significant price differential between Manitoba and Alberta for the same animals and only part of that is explained by freight and other obvious factors. We need options,” said Butler.
MCEC is committed to being a catalyst to bring federally-inspected beef plant capacity to Manitoba, which is in keeping with the agricultural policy principles outlined in the federal government’s Growing Forward strategy.
“We need continued commitment from provincial and federal governments, as well as from producers and producer organizations, to support policies that can create a stronger, more robust beef industry,” said Butler. “If we work together, we can build a very strong, profitable, export-capable industry to protect producers and build profit here at home.”
The main floor tenants at 1780 Wellington recently had to deal with an unexpected flood. A pipe burst flooding most of the ground floor offices, including MCEC’s. The building owners were able to find temporary space for us on the third floor while they clean and repair the damage to the first floor. We have reestablished all of our Internet, phone and fax connections and welcome you to drop in at 303-1780 Wellington Ave. We apologize if this event has caused any delay or interruption in our services.
Due to unexpected water damage to all of the main floor offices in our building, MCEC has moved to a temporary location two floors up: Suite 303-1780 Wellington.
We are in the process of reconnecting our email and other communications. We expect that to be completed shortly. We will resume normal business operations as soon as possible.
All mail, email, phone and fax information will remain the same while we occupy our temporary location. Please click here for our contact information.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and ask for your patience as we get re-established in our temporary offices.
The Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association is raising money for Jay Fox and Sheldon Nicholson Family funds. Both of these cattle industry leaders passed away recently and left young families behind. The proceeds from both the Man/Sask auctioneering Championship and the Cattlemen’s Golf tournament will be split between the two families. Both Jay and Sheldon put a lot of volunteer time into their communities and the cattle industry.
The auctioneering championships will be held in Virden on May 4 at Heartland Livestock Services. This event will bring auctioneers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan to compete to represent Man/Sask at the national competition in June in Stavely, Alberta.
The Cattlemen’s Classic Golf tournament will be held in July at Oak Island resort. This event will bring over 120 cattle producers and industry personnel together.
Jay Fox was past president of the Manitoba Beef Producers association. He was a cattle rancher, dedicated family man and active in a number of organizations as a volunteer. In his mid-thirties at the time of his death, he had made many contributions to the livestock industry throughout his life.
Sheldon Nicholson was a well-known auctioneer and market manager. He was a past Man/Sask auctioneering champion and a finalist at the national level a number of times. He was in his mid-forties and was a leader in the livestock marketing business.
You can read more about the lives of these cattle industry leaders and how to donate to help support their young families by clicking the links below.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard was quoted by AgWeek in September, 2011 saying that the disproportionate control over the sector by the five major beef and pork packers is creating a system that is “inherently more vulnerable to failures that could adversely affect the food safety and food security for millions” of consumers.
His comments followed a massive July, 2011 recall of meat products. Recalls are growing in size and can carry serious risks to human health. “When a problem at one major packing plant can disrupt the food safety and food security for millions of consumers, it’s time to reengineer our meatpacking sector,” he said.
Bullard said that the industry’s concentration gives the few remaining large packers “superior market power to lower livestock prices they pay to U.S. farmers and ranchers, which has forced hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers out of business.”
“R-CALF has highlighted a problem that is even more extreme in Canada where we have only two packing companies serving the beef industry,” said David Wiens, MCEC member. “Beef producers and government and other industry players need to do what they can to support a new regional plant in Manitoba. We should focus on creating an
environment where we have more diversity and more competition. That’s always a good thing.”
China has agreed to allow imports of Canadian beef again, after a nine year pause due to the 2003 BSE crisis. The deal was announced during Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s recent trade mission to China.
The beef market in China has been soaring in recent years as the country’s economy surges ahead, boosting millions of its citizens into a new middle class that desires better food and nutrition options.
“This is potentially great news for our beef industry here in Manitoba,” said MCEC vice-chair Gaylene Dutchyshen. “We recognize we have to create new beef slaughter capacity here in Manitoba and have it export products to targeted international buyers.”
Last year, MCEC took part in a trade mission to China led by CentrePort Winnipeg. There is considerable interest from mainland China to find reliable, consistent sources of high quality protein such as Manitoba beef.
“It’s too early to celebrate, but this latest trade agreement is yet another sign that things are moving in the right direction for Manitoba beef producers,” said Dutchyshen. “We have excellent beef. We have CentrePort. And we have advanced plans for new federally-inspected beef plants to come on stream in the next two years. With all these elements coming together, I’d like to think we’re close to a very positive tipping point.”
That fact was recently confirmed by Canfax market analyst Brian Perillat, who told MCEC: “One of the main reasons why Manitoba’s prices are lower is because they are the furthest distance away from any federally-inspected slaughter plants.”
The analysis shows the average price differential over the first 10 months of 2011 between Alberta and Manitoba on fed steers was $10.16/100lbs. On an average fed steer of 1,300 lbs, that works out to about $130 per animal. We also know that the minimum price differential on other cattle is $50/head for transportation alone.
Click here to read more in our Winter 2012 newsletter.