Industry Development Fund
The bison industry is relatively new in Canada. The infrastructure that has developed to support the bison industry is less developed that other sectors where there is over a century of commercial development. Over the past decade with the support of producers, the bison industry has been able to leverage funds in excess of $600,000 to support initiatives such as international and domestic market development, bison health research and the development of financial and production benchmarks for the industry. In recent years, access to government programming at the national and provincial levels has required financial contributions where in the past “in-kind” contributions were considered adequate.
The bison industry uses the number of RFID Tags sold as a metric to reflect the level of contribution to the fund. In conjunction with the purchase of RFID tags, producers are required to contribute $4.00 to the Industry Development Fund for each RFID identifier purchased. Of the $4.00, $2.00 is retained by the Canadian Bison Association with the remaining $2.00 going to the regional associations.
The funds will continue to be focused on industry development. This includes support for projects like the benchmarking study, bison health research, bison nutrition research, pasture management research, conservation initiatives and upgrading the CBA website.
The CBA will continue to develop the “Canadian Bison Brand” and promote bison in the European market through trade shows so that European consumers recognize that Canadian Bison is an important niche market player once the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement is signed by Canada and the European Union.
More specifically the funds will be used to:
- Develop new promotional material in English, French and German for those markets.
- Develop materials for the domestic markets.
- Develop access to markets like China and Korea to reduce market risk. Access to these markets takes time and once access is obtained it takes time to develop those markets.
- Supporting research including “once through the chute” TB testing, mycoplasma research, and nutrition research.
- Continue to work on reducing the administrative burden related to exporting live bison to the United States.
- Develop a mentorship program in partnership with regional associations.
- Develop strategies to attract new producers and additional investment to grow the industry.
Regional Associations have also been active in promoting the bison industry initiatives including:
- Promotion of their industry in local markets.
- Sharing benchmarking and other information with local financial institutions.
- Support for bison research at local universities
- Supporting meat research at local universities
- Partnering with other organization to complete research
- Promote the bison industry amongst the academic community
Continued support by producers will allow the Canadian Bison Association and regional associations to continue to leverage government funding to support industry development including marketing bison products domestically and internationally. Producer support will allow the industry development and marketing momentum to continue and make a difference.