Alberta is known worldwide for its high-quality, great-tasting beef. As Canada’s largest cattle producing province, Alberta’s beef industry maintains the highest level of food safety, animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship, so that Alberta beef remains a premium product around the globe.

Last year, beef was Alberta's largest agri-food export at $3.9 billion, making up 22 per cent of the province’s total. In support of this key industry, the governments of Canada and Alberta are providing Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) with almost $1.9 million for its on-farm food safety program, Verified Beef Production Plus (VBP+), through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

The VBP+ certification program provides in-person or online training, an on-farm third-party audit, and a certification that helps producers adhere to the highest standards of beef production. Altogether, the program ensures that Albertans feel confident that the beef on their tables is safe and sustainably produced. This funding will make it easier and cheaper to get VBP+ certified, helping Alberta build a stronger and more resilient agricultural sector for generations to come.

“Alberta Beef Producers is a valuable partner that is helping our producers maintain a culture of safe and sustainable beef production. By supporting the refresh of Verified Beef Production Plus, we’re recognizing our producers for the great work they are already doing and giving them the support they need to improve their operations.”

RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

“Beef producers right across Alberta care deeply about food safety, animal health and environmental stewardship. This vitally important funding will help them build on their already high standards and become even more sustainable, so they can keep providing top-quality, nutritious food to Canadians and folks around the world.”

Lawrence MacAulay, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food

With this funding, ABP is building on its VBP+ program to align with the latest national standards and introduce new financial incentives for producers. Additions to programming include increased community events with producers, new training for youth and targeted outreach to Indigenous-operated beef operations.  

Through the new incentive program, farmers and ranchers will have access to a maximum of $5,000 for approved expenses that help them bring their operation into alignment with VBP+ certification guidelines. Examples of approved activities include audit fees, livestock handling equipment and herd management software. An operation that completes the VBP+ training but has not yet achieved certification can access up to $2,500 for the same approved expenses.

“Alberta Beef Producers is excited to see government support for the beef industry’s dedication to food safety, environmental stewardship, animal care and biosecurity. This funding supports the hard work of producers across this province who continue to deliver the world's best Alberta beef.”

Brodie Haugan, chair, Alberta Beef Producers

Sustainable CAP is a five-year, $3.5-billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen competitiveness, innovation and resiliency of Canada’s agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector. This includes $1 billion in federal programs and activities and a $2.5-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Quick facts

  • The VBP+ certification meets national standards set by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Beef Cattle, the Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard and Sustainability indicators of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
    • 394 Alberta farms are VBP+ certified.
    • More than one million acres of native grassland in Alberta is managed by VBP+ certified operations.
    • One in five beef animals in Alberta have been raised on a VBP+ Certified farm.
  • The Sustainable CAP framework provides flexibility for provinces to develop and deliver programs that meet their priorities and the needs of their agriculture and agri-food sectors. Programs align with five priority areas:
    • building sector capacity, growth and competitiveness
    • climate change and environment
    • science, research and innovation
    • market development and trade
    • resiliency and public trust
  • In alignment with the resiliency and public trust priority area, Canada and Alberta’s government are supporting the VBP+ program to ensure producers can participate in training and certification that will help them implement risk mitigation strategies for operational risks.