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ALMA Funds 30 Industry Projects

by 5m Editor
23 September 2009, at 8:10am

CANADA - More than C$3 million in new funding is helping Alberta’s livestock and meat industry discover innovative ways to move forward.

Projects funded through the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) include support for an innovative approach to European Union market penetration, as well as research on meat grading technology and food safety improvements.

“The Alberta Livestock and Meat Strategy was launched last year in order to help the livestock industry regain its competitive advantage and create sustainability” said George Groeneveld, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

“Since that time, ALMA has made market access a priority and taken significant steps in helping the agriculture industry overcome the current challenges.”

The Alberta government recently released an updated implementation plan for the strategy, which focuses on an internationally respected, competitive and profitable Alberta livestock and meat industry.

As part of the plan, ALMA designed five new grant programs to spur innovation and diversification. The programmes focus on developing global and value-added markets, research, on-farm technology and the livestock industry.

“These programs and others are part of ALMA’s commitment to be a catalyst for change that revives and rebuilds the livestock and meat industry,” said Joe Makowecki, ALMA Board Chairman.

“They help further our four priorities of market access, competitiveness, demand and information flow.”

For example, an H1N1 influenza consumer reassurance strategy will show that pork is a safe and important source of protein. As well, a project on ready-to-eat meats will improve quality and safety for consumers and create new opportunities for producers.

Funds for more projects will be announced soon as part of ALMA’s C$30-million suite of catalyst programmes as well as two Growing Forward programmes worth C$10.27 million. The programs will allow ALMA to drive change as it supports industry through ideas, information and resources.