What a year we endured in 2021, but as the saying goes, “don’t look back you’re not going that way.”
Of course, at ABP we do need to reflect upon our organization and industry experiences, learnings, and considerations from this past year, as that continues to be a foundation for the growth of our organization and our industry.
I want to first extend our thoughts and continued support to our industry families in British Columbia, who are striving to recover from the devastating floods they endured in November. May the year ahead bring healing recovery, relief, and restoration.
2021 was a year of many facelifts both internally and externally for ABP. From internal structural changes to become more efficient, to our new external communication elements, including this magazine and our forward-facing digital platform. We have been delighted with your feedback and suggestions. We know that people have varying opinions on all the new tools, from the magazine to the app, or ABP Daily. This feedback is adding to the evolution and experience and raising the bar for even more relevant content, designed to provide insights and inspiration to elevate your operations and ultimately, the success of your business.
Despite the barriers that COVID presented in 2021, we strived to build even stronger relationships with producers and encourage dialogue and engagement. We are utilizing your Check-Off dollars to the best of our ability and making sure the voices of Alberta beef producers are heard and are at the table, whether it be provincially or federally. As always too, we are ensuring that every single refund dollar is working hard at the end of the day to put more dollars back in the pockets of producers and supporting continued sustainable advancements for our industry or realizing government support programs as we did for producers who experienced extreme drought this past year.
ABP also worked diligently last year as a lead on a beef competitiveness grant that was initiated and announced at the Calgary Stampede in July, 2021. We are working together with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and the Alberta Cattle Feeders, with assistance from Canfax on this grant, in efforts to build resiliency in the processing sector, in Alberta, as well as price discovery for the producer. We’re looking at our whole processing industry because we know that the pressure is on both our feedlot and cow calf producers. We know too, that the processing and retail sector seems to be flourishing and that consumers are paying the price. Our mission at Alberta Beef Producers is to see this price discovery realized all the way through to the producer level. Profit sharing can be a part of this industry so that every level can be sustainable.
And finally, as I write this column, Cargill is experiencing more strike action. We are engaged with Cargill and the Province regarding our concerns and the impacts of this interruption and seeking solutions that will address backlogs or depressing prices any further for producers. We will remain engaged and work with other industry associations in the coming days and into the future to seek remedies and solutions that will stabilize the risks this causes to our industry.
In a month filled with New Year’s resolutions, at ABP our goal remains for 2022 to stand up, for and behind Alberta beef producers and help both lead and navigate a path forward that brings opportunity for the world-class beef product that you produce. I am feeling both confident and eager about the year ahead and the advancements that we will continue to make as an industry.
Cheers to a brighter year ahead filled with positive returns.