VFO hosts its Inaugural AGM on March 9th

Exciting first year of operation for VFO to be celebrated at AGM

Veal Farmers of Ontario’s (VFO) inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Producer Education Day will be held Wednesday, March 9th at Tavistock Memorial Hall and is an opportunity for the veal industry to reflect on its year as Ontario’s newest regulated marketing board.

“I am pleased to invite all veal cattle producers- from the dairy calf to finished veal- to attend our inaugural AGM and Producer Education Day. This is the one day of the year that we can all come together to discuss our industry” stated VFO Chair Brian Keunen.

One of the highlights of the AGM portion of the day will be the presentation of the VFO’s new strategic plan and vision for the Ontario veal industry.  In addition, the Producer Education speaker line up will provide something for everyone with topics focusing on animal health, research, and consumer demand.

As consumers take a greater interest in where their food comes from, it is important that all partners in the supply chain understand their role in supplying quality products. Jorge Correa, Technical Director with the Canadian Meat Council (CMC), will present an overview on the questions consumers are asking around food safety, antibiotic use and animal welfare and what his members expect from their supply chains. Following Correa’s presentation, he will be joined by Bob Wyanands, Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec, and Brian Keunen, VFO Chair, for a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities with the adoption of the Verified Veal Program (VVP), the Canadian on-farm food safety program for veal, in both Quebec and Ontario. “As producers, we must understand the expectations of our customers and consumers so that we can plan ahead, adapt our operations where needed, stay competitive and protect our marketplace” stated Keunen.

Aaron Hibma, Director of Food Safety and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Services with Mallot Creek Consulting, will present an update on the Veal Carcass Benchmarking Study comparing the results from the initial 2002 study to 2015. Hibma will discuss what has changed since the 2002 study and what has remained the same with regards to carcass size, conformation, colour and production.  “The valuable information learned from this important study will help producers respond to changing demands of the marketplace and understand developing trends to be able to make more informed business decisions to improve profitability”, stated Kendra Keels, Director, Producer & Industry Development.

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