Beef is a source of high-quality protein and nutrients. “Produced from bulls, heifers or steers, beef is a variety of red meat which may be cut into roasts, steaks or short ribs. Numerous cuts of steak exist, from premium steaks rib eye, sirloin or tenderloin to budget varieties hanger steak, skirt steak and more” (Duncan, n.d., para 2). In Canada exists various types of beef certifications depending upon the way that the cattle are treated, fed and/or slaughtered. Many types of fresh beef are provided for sale in and out of Canada;
Angus Beef: “Angus beef is well marbled, tender and full of flavour ensuring a pleasant eating experience” (Canadian Angus Beef Programs, n.d., para 1). The breed “has experienced a significant growth in demand and is now the largest/fastest growing breed in Canada” (Angus, n.d., para 2).
Grass-fed beef: This type of production consists of raising cattle in environmentally safe farms, letting them run free and maintain a healthy life span, and feeding them fresh green grass. They are “raised under strict protocols and verified by an independent third party and produced without the use of antibiotics, growth hormones, genetically modified feeds and grains for the entire life of the animal” (Manitoba Grass-Fed Beef Association, n.d., para 3).
Organic beef: In Canada, “Organic beef is certified to meet the requirements of the national Canadian Organic Standard. These requirements are mandatory for any organic beef that is sold across provincial borders, imported or if the Canada Organic logo is used” (Understanding the difference in organic and other beef, n.d., para 1).
Frozen Beef: Frozen beef is available from beef manufacturing facilities to distributors and wholesalers. Beef manufacturers' facilities use “cryogenic freezer tunnels, which use liquid nitrogen at very cold temperatures resulting in a very quick-freeze. Many operators will purchase this fresh beef and then freeze it themselves” (Best Practices, n.d., para 1). Restaurants and wholesalers ensure that they store the beef in proper refrigeration standards in order to maximize lifespan use and quality of the beef. By freezing meat it helps stop bacterial growth, preserves the meat in good condition and helps keep it close to its original quality. “Upon thawing, the quality of the meat should be as acceptable to the consumer as the fresh product” (Frozen & Chilled Meat, n.d., para 5).
Livestock: These cattle are raised to be one of the healthiest cattle as they are brought up with clean resources such as clean water, fresh air and alongside the care of the mother cow. (Beef Production 101, n.d., para 2).
Chilled Beef: This type of beef is produced from freshly slaughtered cattle and is refrigerated without freezing. The temperature is maintained throughout the entire process from being slaughtered to distribution to then being sold to consumers.
Current Domestic Marketing Strategy
Canada's farm direct marketing consists of producers providing beef directly to consumers at farmers' markets, u-pick farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs and online stores (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 2017, para 1). Alberta focuses on making sure producers are “aware of the federal and provincial legislative requirements that apply to their farm direct marketing operation” (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 2017, para 2). When producers comply with the required legislation - they can move forward with selling their beef to commercial food establishments (supermarkets). The Alberta Public Health and Food Regulation Act governs the standard by which all establishments where food is consumed by the public must adhere (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 2017, pg 8). Commercial meat establishments are also required to have a food handling permit and follow regulation created by the Food Retail and Foodservices Code (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 2017, pg 21). Producers can be penalized or fined if they do not adhere to these strict rules, and they must also be aware of the requirements for their specific establishments. (Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, 2017, para 3-4). Similar individual regulations also apply for exports outside of Canada. They will vary based on the country that the products are being exported to.
The Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development also states the different requirements that the Canadian legislation has regarding:
The construction and operation of the facilities used to produce your products. For example, inspected frozen beef cuts can be stored in a freezer in your home, but then you can only sell them at an Alberta approved farmers' market. If you want to sell your beef to a restaurant or on-line, then you will need to have a dedicated storage area, in your home or on the farm, that is permitted by Alberta Health Services. (Para 5)
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