December 6, 2013
Dr. David Bressler of the University of Alberta is well-known in the meat and livestock industry for taking processing byproducts and turning them into marketable biomaterials. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Dr. Bressler’s current research project focuses on using whey – a byproduct of the cheese-making industry – to produce ethanol. More>>
December 3, 2013
Edmonton-based Select Ready Foods Inc. (Select Ready) produces quality, frozen Alberta meat products for Canadian food service and retail customers. With funds from two Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) grants, Select Ready will soon have the capacity to develop a total of 10 new food items using Alberta pork. More>>
December 2, 2013
Shaun Haney, RealAgriculture.com, interviews David Andrews about the recent Beef Industry Straw Man meeting place and the goal in creating a Canadian beef industry strategy. For more information about this initiative, visit http://www.strawmanbeef.ca/ and click here to listen to the interview on RealAgriculture.com.
November 29, 2013
Alberta’s cattle enjoy carefully designed diets that contribute to the quality and nutrition of the meat they produce. In addition to forage, grains and minerals, cattle feed includes vitamins and other essential nutrients. In order to improve meat quality, feed managers and researchers are constantly testing new feed combinations. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Dr. Mike Dugan of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is studying the effects that high dietary concentrations of vitamin E have on the quality of beef. More>>
November 25, 2013
ALMA would like to congratulate Kim McConnell for winning the 2013 W.R. Motherwell Award for his dedication to the Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) of Canada program. This program is designed to recognize farm operators aged 18-39 who show excellence in Canadian agriculture. This year’s recipients were Michael Kalisvaart and Karen Jansen from Gibbons, Alberta and James and Amanda Kinsman from Berwick, Nova Scotia.
Click here to learn more about the 2013 OYF Awards.
November 25, 2013
Sustainability and environmental stewardship are a reality in all industries and agriculture is no exception. APC Nutrition Ltd. (APC) is meeting this reality and making good on their motto, “Reclaim. Renew. Return.” With the help of an Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) grant, APC has purchased specialized equipment to salvage beef blood plasma and return it to the marketplace in the form of a high-quality animal food protein additive. More>>
November 20, 2013
High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP) processing is gaining acceptance as an effective tool to eliminate pathogenic organisms and increase food safety. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, Drs. Lynn McMullen and Michael Gänzle of the University of Alberta are assembling a research team to evaluate the effects of low temperatures on the growth of Listeria monocytogenes and other spoilage organisms. The findings will be used to increase the efficacy of HHP processing. More>>
November 15, 2013
The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency is proud to present FutureFare 2014 on June 16-17, 2014 at the River Cree Resort. Registration opens in December, but we strongly urge you to mark those days now to ensure your attendance.
We look forward to seeing you in June.
November 15, 2013
ALMA would like to pass on congratulations to Gastropost for its two recent victories in the area of social media. Gastropost received a Gold Award at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards and an EPPY award, the latter of which is a worldwide competition held by Editor & Publisher magazine.
Gastropost is an exciting way for food lovers in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver to share photos on the respective websites and social media channels. These photos complete weekly food missions such as “Just Desserts” or “Eat Local,” which are then published in the National Post.
To learn more, please click here to check out their Edmonton website.
November 7, 2013
Folic acid is a familiar supplement for mothers-to-be, but there are many other nutrients that play an important role in fetal development. Choline is known to be essential for fetal development and maternal health, but dietary choline intake is difficult to estimate. This is due to limitations in the available information on the sources and amount of choline in local foods, and is further complicated by the presence of several forms of choline. University of Alberta professors Curtis, Field and Jacobs are combining their interests in the fields of human nutrition, food science and analytical chemistry to make the case for a wider awareness of the importance of adequate choline intake for optimal health, especially during the periods of pregnancy and lactation for women and during infant development. More>>
November 4, 2013
At this week’s North American Meat Association’s (NAMA) Outlook Conference in Chicago, Canada’s Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz, spoke to the importance of eliminating Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) on Canadian products.
With an established annual loss of $1 billion to Canadian agricultural industries, recent changes to COOL could mean that this number will increase in the coming years. This is why Canada is getting ready to impose retaliatory tariffs with authorization from the World Trade Organization next year. Items such as beef, pork, wine and sugar products are among the products that Canada will look to add tariffs to should COOL remain in effect.
Minister Ritz was joined at NAMA by Alberta Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson, Alberta Agriculture Deputy Minister Jason Krips, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn. ALMA President and CEO, Gordon Cove, was also in attendance and endorsed Ritz’s message. “Minister Ritz’s address today was essential in delivering strong and effective messaging on COOL to an American audience,” said Cove. “COOL hits hard on Canadian industries, but our industries are not the only ones feeling the effects. That’s why we need to start considering moving this discussion to a place that creates circumstances that work better for everyone.”
October 31, 2013
As the consumer becomes more distant from food production and the farm, they are increasingly requesting the assurance that their food is not only safe and of good quality, but also that the animals were raised humanely. With animal welfare becoming an increasingly important issue, the agriculture industry has begun to look at various ways to address these concerns across the Canadian value chain. This includes the improvement of best practices that help improve animal health and welfare, while also maintaining a high-quality tasting and safe-to-eat food product.
In fact, egg farmers in Alberta are already charging in this direction, as even though the newer systems cost more money, producers are satisfied with the implementation and results. This initiative towards better animal care does not surprise Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) President and CEO, Gordon Cove. In 2010, ALMA helped two Alberta Hutterite Colonies adapt their layer barns for new systems, where advantages included cleaner eggs and higher productivity from their birds. More>>
October 29, 2013
For four days in October, Cologne, Germany, plays host to Anuga, one of the largest food trade shows in the world. In partnership with Canada Beef Inc. and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), a group of Alberta/Canadian companies were on the ground at Anuga to promote their products to international buyers.
The group included Prairie Heritage Angus Beef, Kobe Classic Beef, Carmen Creek Bison and Maple Beef Bacon, Riz Global Foods, Baksh Food, Iron Chef America, Beretta Farms, Premier and Mountain Beef. More>>
October 25, 2013
Tonight, the BMO Centre in Calgary will host the 24th Annual Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation (ASTech) Gala: Shaping the Future, where ALMA is proud to support one of the 2013 Science Award Honourees. As a premier researcher in her field, Dr. Stefanie Czub has answered many questions in the areas of prions, pathology and virology through her work at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the University of Calgary. ALMA is glad to see her work being recognized and looks forward to future successes from Dr. Czub.
October 25, 2013
On October 19, 2013, ALMA President and CEO, Gordon Cove attended the announcement of government funding towards the Institute for Applied Poultry Technologies (IAPT), a not-for-profit organization that was formed last year through the partnership of various industry organizations. More>>
October 24, 2013
Johne’s disease is a costly problem for dairy producers, lowering milk production and affecting the market access for Canadian dairy products. Caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP), Johne’s disease is estimated to cost the Canadian dairy industry around $15 million per year. Unfortunately, diagnosing and eliminating Johne’s disease is not an easy task. The disease is slow to show symptoms and MAP can survive on various surfaces for extended periods of time.
In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, researchers from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Netherland’s Utrecht University conducted a research project to determine if the respiratory system is another potential route of transmission for Johne’s disease. More>>
October 22, 2013
With the help of ALMA funding, Livestock Gentec and Abacus Bio Ltd. performed a cost-benefit analysis of breeding selection tools and their usage in the Alberta beef industry. This analysis has shown that if beef producers begin to adopt the use of genomics and DNA tests to record basic traits and subsequently select favourable traits, they will experience various benefits, including profitability from more efficient cattle. Click here to read an excerpt from a report by Livestock Gentec’s Dawn Trautman and Tom Lynch-Staunton to learn more about this project.
Peter Fennessy from Abacus Bio will also be presenting the results of this project at the Livestock Gentec Conference on October 23 at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Edmonton, AB. For conference information, please visit www.livestockgentec.com
October 21, 2013
From October 15-17, ALMA was in attendance alongside industry in Ottawa to participate in the 4th Multi-Stakeholder Platform Meeting of Global Agenda for Action. Hosted by the Canadian livestock sector and sponsored by ALMA, the meeting was successful towards the creation of a FAO-based (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) dialogue framework towards an agenda for livestock sustainability.
Brad Fournier, ALMA Director of Strategic Initiatives, attended the event and was impressed by the amount of industry support and dedication towards this objective. Participating organizations at this meeting included Dairy Farmers of Canada, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canadian Pork Council, Chicken Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farms of Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
October 18, 2013
Today, an Agreement in Principle on the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was reached. The agreement marks an important victory in the CETA negotiations, as Canadian products are allowed preferential access to a market of 500 million consumers. CETA will provide an enhancement of market access for agriculture products including beef, pork, bison and value-added products, as well as a direct benefit towards rural development across Canada.
Read the Office of the Prime Minister’s News Release
Read the Office of the Premier’s Statement
October 17, 2013
Consumer confidence is vital to every industry, but this is especially true when it comes to food safety in the meat industry. Producers and retailers want consumers to know that their products are high-quality and safe to eat. Building this trust depends on constantly improving food safety technology, including the early detection and elimination of food-borne bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria). The presence of Listeria in foods can result in a food recall because the bacteria can cause listeriosis, a life-threatening disease to pregnant women, the elderly and those with a weakened immune system. It is also a problematic bacterium to remove from processed and ready-to-eat foods. Therefore, it is essential to understand how the bacteria cells interact in all types of environments. More>>
October 11, 2013
Being a “small fish in a big pond” can certainly be daunting. However, members of the Food Processors Logistics Research Council (FPLRC), better known as the CEO Club, are researching innovative ideas to make their businesses more viable amongst the “big fish.” More>>
October 8, 2013
In partnership with industry and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Dr. Mirko Betti of the University of Alberta is leading a research team to create a new nutraceutical for skin care options through functionalized collagen peptides from bovine hides and poultry processing by-products. More>>
September 30, 2013
Since its inception in 1967, Royal Food Products (Royal Foods) has been a family-run company committed to high-quality, locally sourced meat products. Now in its third generation, Royal Foods has seen its share of changes, both in product lines and the size of its Edmonton facility. Since 2001, current President, Paul Meyer, has seen the federally-inspected facility grow from 6,000 to 12,000 square feet. This includes a recent 800 square foot expansion with funding assistance from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA). With the expansion now complete, the sky is the limit for this savory pastry provider. More>>
September 25, 2013
No two pigs are exactly alike. Some pigs can be handled, herded, loaded, transported and unloaded without exhibiting any stress behaviours. Other pigs can go through the same process, but will experience a great degree of stress throughout. This stress response is a serious issue to producers and processors as stress has been shown to affect the quality of the meat and can even lead to carcass damage or the early death of the animal in extreme cases. With funding from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and support from Saskatchewan Pork and the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund, Drs. Harold Gonyou and Jennifer Brown of the Prairie Swine Centre are approaching stress responses in pig herds from a breeding angle to see whether these responses are passed from parent to offspring. More>>
September 19, 2013
Consumer education is vital to the meat and livestock industry. In partnership with Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) and Canada Beef Inc. are creating the Beef Advocacy Canada (BAC) program to build domestic brand advocates. These beef ambassadors will deliver accurate information and messaging to the public. More>>
September 18, 2013
Alberta and Canada’s livestock industry continually seeks ways to improve its competitiveness nationally and globally. Traceability is essential to improving our competitive advantage. With the help of an Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) grant, SAIT Polytechnic will soon house a certification laboratory to evaluate ear tag and ear tag reader technology. Access to this service will advance our competitive edge by demonstrating that we have an established traceability process that assures potential international markets of the safety and quality of Canadian meat and livestock. More.
September 16, 2013
On September 11, the Alberta Food Processors Association hosted their 25th Annual FEASTival of Fine Chefs at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton.
ALMA was the Event Sponsor for this dining experience that allows around 1500 attendees to enjoy a delicious four-course meal, with each course coming from a different establishment. FEASTival also provides the unique opportunity for attendees to enjoy food made by Alberta chefs through the exclusive use of Alberta-sourced products.
25 local restaurants participated in this event, including Characters, Delta Edmonton South Hotel, NAIT’s Ernest Dining Room and ZINC Restaurant. The event’s silent auction also raised money for the Stan Ballard Endowment Fund, supporting the education of apprentice chefs.
To learn more about this event, please visit: http://afpa.com/page_feastival.html
Photos courtesy of: Sharman Hnatiuk
September 13, 2013
When wildlife and humans interact, the result is often an agitated animal, with extreme cases leading to illness and/or death. Dr. Murray Woodbury from the University of Saskatchewan and Dr. Todd Shury from Parks Canada hope to improve animal welfare and reduce loss to the commercial bison industry by validating a bovine tuberculosis (bTB) blood-based test that will minimize the consequences from interaction. More.
September 10, 2013
John Scott, recently announced as a new member of ALMA’s board, has been chosen as the 2013 Spirit of the Independent Award recipient. ALMA congratulates John on the well-deserved award and is honored to have him on board. More>>
September 6, 2013
The consumption of lamb in Canada has seen a steady rise over the last decade, distinguishing it from other red meats. Focused solely on processing lamb and strengthening its national brand, SunGold Specialty Meats is poised to capitalize on the growing Lamb market. Through collaboration with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), producers and industry partners, SunGold is expanding the markets for its lamb, increasing efficiencies and developing key relationships that contribute to the sustainability of the lamb industry in Alberta. More>>
September 5, 2013
With our society becoming increasingly urban and removed from agriculture, Canadian livestock industry practices are regularly scrutinized and the horse industry is not immune. With an Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) grant, the Horse Industry Association of Alberta (HIAA) seeks to promote the many positive aspects of Alberta’s horse industry through their Equine Education project. More>>
September 4, 2013
ALMA’s One Health and Sustainability calls opened on July 15 and closed August 29. Each call had $2 million in funding to invest in transformative projects. The Sustainability call received 37 letters of intent with a total value over $17 million and the One Health call received 41 letters of intent with valuing over $23 million.
ALMA will now begin reviewing letters of intent and selecting projects that promise the most impact to the industry. Thank you to all the researchers and organizations that helped to make these calls a success.
Those selected for a full proposal will be notified by September 10 and the deadline for submissions of the full proposals is October 17 at 2pm.
August 29, 2013
Olds College has distinguished itself as a premier public education institution by offering industry-relevant courses that can give a competitive edge to students and the companies that hire them. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Olds College is expanding its training expertise by upgrading its Meat Training Centre. More>>
August 27, 2013
Last year, the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) launched their Famous Taste campaign with the goal of revitalizing the Alberta Beef brand in the domestic market. With the help of ALMA funding and local retail partners, this campaign launched a province-wide media campaign that reinforced the benefits of Alberta beef while also providing a convenient and enjoyable consumer experience through tasting events. More>>
August 23, 2013
Stress during transportation is an important issue for pork producers and processors. When hogs experience stress during loading, transport and unloading, it affects the health of the animal, the quality of the meat and, in extreme cases, can result in death. With funding from a wide range of industry partners, Drs. Jennifer Brown and Harold Gonyou from the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatoon, SK, led a research project to evaluate current transport methods along with new technologies and approaches in order to identify best practices that will benefit the entire pork industry.
The importance of this project and the commitment of the pork industry to improving animal welfare was apparent from the number of organizations collaborating to fund the project. Partners included Alberta Pork, Saskatchewan Pork, Manitoba Pork, Ontario Pork, Maple Leaf Fresh Foods and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA). More>>
August 19, 2013
Traceability is an integral part of modern livestock production and now there is more information on the commercial value to traceability. Cattle ranchers are seeing the financial benefits to tracking and disseminating value-added traits such as home-raised, age-verified, hormone-free and preconditioned programs to the buyers at auction mart sales. With funding from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Integrated Traceability Solutions (ITS Global) conducted a study based on the 2011-12 auction run to determine how value-added characteristics affected auction prices. More>>
August 13, 2013
Over the past decade, the Alberta pork industry has faced headwinds, including multiple price shocks, that have caused producers to fold and an overall increase in imported pork. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Alberta Pork created the Passion for Pork™ consumer awareness campaign to help differentiate Alberta pork, establish a brand that reflects the high-quality pork our province produces and change the fundamental way business is conducted in the pork industry. More>>
August 12. 2013
A collaboration between Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (AARD), the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Alberta Veterinary Labs and the Horse Industry Association of Alberta has led to the formulation of a generic liquid Ivermectin dewormer, called "Ivermectin Liquid for Horses." In May 2013, the Veterinary Drugs Directorate registered the product for use in horses. This generic product will provide significant savings to Canadian horse owners.
To find out more, please visit http://www.albertahorseindustry.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=649&Itemid=1
August 9, 2013
Two industry experts have filled vacant positions on the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) board including a retail food services professional and an international trade leader. More>>
August 7, 2013
The Straw Man Team has released a letter to beef industry stakeholders that details their progress in creating and supporting an industry-wide strategy. The team members, Kim McConnell, Dave Andrews and John Kolk, have formed a steering committee and task teams based to act upon the Straw Man Canadian Beef Industry Strategy. Read More>>