April 17, 2014
Located in the heart of Grande Prairie, H&M Meats (H&M) has provided quality meat products to consumers for the last 40 years. In that time, H&M had great success with many of their products, including beef jerky and sausages. Recently, they have seen a rise in their pork production, nearly equalling their beef production. In fact, in 2013, they saw an increase in total poundage of meat in excess of 25 per cent.
With this continued positive momentum, H&M knew they needed a better system and newer equipment to keep up with consumer demand. By partnering with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, H&M expects to increase production through upgrading some of their equipment. More>>
April 15, 2014
Alberta’s meat industry depends on cold chain logistics in order to supply international customers with product. This temperature controlled supply chain is built around refrigerated International Standards Organization (ISO) containers that are hauled by train and truck, loaded onto freights and shipped around the world. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, the Van Horne Institute is conducting an extensive study of North America’s cold chain logistics, with a specific focus on Western Canada. More>>
April 11, 2014
In humans, the nutrients you ingest are directly correlated to your performance and overall health. The same applies to animals, and Alberta’s dairy industry understands first-hand the need for proper animal nutrition for peak performance. Click>>
April 4, 2014
Western Canada’s pet food industry will soon enjoy the benefits of a partnership between the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Western Economic Diversification (WD) and industry partners, Champion Petfoods LP and Elmira Pet Products Ltd. In a funding announcement today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced WD funding of $1.6 million to help establish the Animal Nutrition and Ingredient Development Program (ANID) at the University of Alberta. Together with ALMA funding of $589,000 and Champion and Elmira funding, the University’s ANID Program will house specialized single-screw extrusion equipment. This equipment – a first in Canada – will advance innovation and food safety for Western Canadian pet food companies, with potential expansion into more national and global markets. In addition, the ANID program will improve the skill-set of Western Canadian students as they receiving training in pet food development, and pet health and nutrition.
Click here to view the official news release.
April 3, 2014
Brachyspira hampsonii (B. hampsonii) is a newly emerged pathogen that causes diarrhea in grow-finish pigs. This pathogen was originally identified in Alberta, and shortly after in the U.S. mid-west. It is a Western Canadian problem with new cases each year and no effective vaccine. The bacterium targets the large intestine causing inflammation and cellular damage. Unfortunately, how the bacterium causes diarrhea is unknown.
Although it can result in death in the most severe cases, most pigs recover from the diarrhea. However, the disease can cause major economic losses with increased mortality, reduced growth rates and feed efficiency, and added medications. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), a team of University of Saskatchewan researchers, led by Dr. John Harding, is studying B. hampsonii to discover how it causes diarrhea in affected pigs. More>>
March 31, 2014
On March 26, the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders (CYL) program selected the 16 people who would receive the 2014 CYL Mentorship. The program allows for these recipients to be paired with a mentor for eight months, therefore leading to the growth and education of the young leaders in Canadian agriculture. Recipients include representatives from Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia.
ALMA would like to congratulate this year’s recipients and is looking forward to seeing the results from these amazing young leaders.
For more information, click here to read the official press release.
March 28, 2014
In 2013, Clear Lake Colony Farming Co. Ltd.(Clear Lake) invested in expanding its Alberta processing facilities. Prior to 2013, the processing was done in Saskatchewan facilities with the finished product shipped back to Alberta for sale. The 2013 upgrade paved the way to bring Clear Lake’s bacon processing operations into Alberta. Now, in partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Clear Lake is expanding the processing done in Alberta with added product lines. More>>
March 21, 2014
Food businesses face some unique challenges compared to other industries. In addition to remaining compliant with a range of safety guidelines, food businesses are very dependent on timely delivery of their inputs and distribution of their products. Launching a new food product is a logistical challenge with little room for error, especially when you are dealing with a large volume buyer like Northlands. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Flavour, a Northlands initiative, is helping Alberta’s agri-food businesses gain valuable experience working with industrial buyers. More>>
March 19, 2014
With increased consumption of processed foods, some Canadians consume almost double the recommended amount of sodium in their diet. This has led to an increased consumer demand for reduced sodium food options. Processors are looking to create low-salt processed meats to meet this demand. Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development researcher, Dr. Zeb Pietrasik, hopes his team’s research into the effects of salt replacements on processed meats could help processors meet this goal. More>>
March 18, 2014
On March 17, Kim McConnell and Colin Jeffares provided an informative brown bagger to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development representatives regarding the collective work toward building a stronger Canadian beef industry. From the release of the report by the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute in September 2012 to the finishing touches of the report done by the Straw Man team (consisting of McConnell, Dave Andrews and John Kolk), McConnell detailed the journey of this initiative. He also explained the Straw Man report findings and its recommendations for keeping the momentum moving forward.
Jeffares will be continuing the work done by the Straw Man Team to help industry move towards a more unified voice that listens to the demands and expectations of its consumer, both domestic and international. McConnell and Jeffares both recognize there are challenges ahead, but they believe that the recommendations stemming from the Straw Man report will see the robust dialogue needed to ensure Canadian beef is the product of choice of consumers.
March 17, 2014
Over the weekend, Olds College hosted the Alberta Food Processors Association 2014 convention at the expanded National Meat Training Centre. The upgrade to the facility was completed between May 2013 and January 2014. It represents part of Olds College's vision to become a world-class meat and food science technology centre. ALMA was one of many industry partners who worked with Olds College on this ambitious expansion. You can read more about ALMA's involvement here and more about the grand re-opening on Olds College's website.
March 14, 2014
Feed cost accounts for a large percentage of expenses for pork producers. At the University of Alberta, Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra led a research team through two projects that aimed to determine new ways to reduce feed costs through use of alternative feedstuffs. Dr. Eduardo Beltranena of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development is his key collaborator on this project.
With funding from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) and other partners, Dr. Zijlstra and his team focus their research towards understanding the feeding value of alternative swine feedstuffs. This understanding will support new solutions to reduce feed cost while optimizing growth performance of pigs. More>>
March 12, 2014
Whether it is used for business or personal reasons, social media has proved to be a powerful tool in bringing people together. One of its many advantages for the provincial food industry is that companies and consumers can share food experiences such as recipes, restaurants or food products with fellow Albertans and beyond.
To help capitalize on social media market opportunities, Taste Alberta partnered with Save on Foods and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) to launch Edmonton and Calgary versions of Gastropost in late 2013. This concept was introduced in Toronto and has also launched in Vancouver. More>>
March 11, 2014
Today's announcement of a free-trade agreement between South Korea and Canada is good news for the meat and livestock industry. Korea's tariffs on Canadian beef and pork are expected to be phased out, giving Canadian producers improved access to a promising market. The United States and Europe have existing agreements with Korea that put Canada at a competitive disadvantage prior to the new deal. Although tariffs are not being relaxed as aggressively as they were in the U.S. agreement, the free-trade deal is still expected to level the field over a period of years.
Gordon Cove, President and CEO of ALMA, said, "We raise high-quality livestock and meat that we want to sell to international customers. The more access we have to international markets, the more meat and livestock we can sell. When the tariff barriers are removed, Canadian producers are quite comfortable competing with other countries on what really matters: quality and taste.”
For more information:
March 10, 2014
At their AGM reception on March 5, the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association announced that McDonalds Canada was selected as the first recipient of the Beef Industry Innovation & Sustainability Award (BIISA). The BIISA recognized McDonalds Canada for its continuous support to Canadian beef and its commitment to innovation that aids the competitiveness and sustainability of Canadian beef industry. Their online platform, “Our Food, Your Questions,” was specifically highlighted as an innovative way to educate consumers about their food products and beef production in Canada.
ALMA would like to pass on its congratulations to McDonalds Canada for this great accomplishment. For more information, please read the official press release.
March 7, 2014
Vaccination programs are an integral part of our livestock industry. Animal health and productivity have improved and vaccinating animals at key points in the production chain help prevent losses due to disease at the ranch and the feedlot. Building immunity in the herd also reduces the need to treat sick animals. There are currently many different vaccine delivery methods and schedules available to cow-calf producers. In partnership with the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Dr. Philip Griebel of the University of Saskatchewan is studying the efficacy of intranasal vaccination as a strategy to prevent pneumonia in fall weaned calves. More>>
March 4, 2014
One of the province’s largest processors, JBS Food Canada Inc. (JBS) in Brooks, is taking a proactive approach to advancing employee safety and efficiency, and improving margins through increased competitiveness. With the help of an Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) grant, JBS Brooks will relocate plant equipment to improve team member safety in the head bench area, and alter the process used to recover beef cheek and head meat in an effort to extend market reach. More>>