Officially launched today, the new, national VBP+ program includes training and auditing for animal care, biosecurity and environmental stewardship along with on-farm food safety practices within the cow-calf and feedlot sectors. Through validating sustainable practises at the primary production level, VBP+ enables producers to publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible stewardship of both cattle and resources.
The level of transparency VBP+ offers on a range of key production practices provides retailers and consumers with the knowledge that the beef they purchase is from a healthy animal raised with appropriate oversight and care on the farm, ranch or feedlot. These essential attributes are applicable throughout the beef production supply chain and are captured in a new impactful VBP+ logo.
VBP+ shows that Canadian beef producers are listening, said Alberta rancher and Chair of the producer-led VBP+ Transition Management Committee Cecilie Fleming. “Being a VBP+ registered producer enables beef operations to showcase the good production practises they commit to on their farms, ranches and feedlots as well as fosters continual improvements. VBP+ is a straightforward, practical and low cost program to implement yet contains the robust validation required to satisfy the retailer, other end users, and consumer needs.
A voluntary program, VBP+ allows registered operations to be part of a bigger picture of raising beef cattle that can flow into the growing Canadian sustainable beef supply stream,” she said. VBP+ is an expansion of the former Verified Beef Production on-farm food safety program. Work began in late 2013 to expand the program to include production practices validation in all areas of the beef production supply chain.
National delivery and oversight of VBP+ maintains a conformance system and streamlines delivery of information, training, online tools and resources. Like the initial program, VBP+ remains voluntary and industry-led. The VBP+ program has demonstrable and credible threshold levels producers must achieve to become, and maintain, registered status on the program. This progressive, audited program promotes continual improvements at the beef farm, ranch and feedlot level.