Friday, August 30, 2013

August 30, 2013


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Wind Down of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Coucil Begins
Upon recommendation of the Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council (MCEC), the Farm Products Marketing Council is ending collection of the voluntary cattle enhancement levy effective Sept. 1, and this decision is supported by the province of Manitoba, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today.
“The Manitoba Cattle Enhancement Council and Manitoba’s livestock producers have shown their dedication to the future of the industry and we still believe that Manitoba needs federally inspected cattle slaughter capacity,” said Kostyshyn.  “Since the federal government made the decision to withdraw their $10 million pledge, everyone has done their best to increase federal cattle slaughter capacity in Manitoba.  As a cattle producer, I believeit is now time to end the levy before the fall cattle run. We hope the federal government will come back to the table if a new opportunity arises.”
Established in the wake of the BSE crisis, the MCEC has been diligent in working with the industry to increase Manitoba’s cattle slaughter capacity.  During that time, producer levies and provincial funds provided loans to assist the expansion of provincial slaughter facilities, purchase and preparation of the Marion Street project site, and development of a new model for cattle slaughter.
“MCEC spent $5.7 million developing the Marion Street project based on the commitment that they were going to receive financing through the Federal Slaughter Improvement Program,” said Kostyshyn.  “We must now turn our attention to supporting the industry through other ways, such as strong opposition to COOL (country of origin labelling), working on insurance-based products for producers, maintaining community pastures and investing in research that will increase the resiliency and profitability of Manitoba’s livestock sector.”
An independent, third party will work with MCEC to develop a plan to wind down the organization.  The levy was voluntary and producers will maintain the right to request a rebate for levies paid over the past 12 months.  The province will work with MCEC to ensure that resources are in place to deliver refunds in a timely manner.
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