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Competing Labels: Understanding Other-Method-of-Production Labels for Meat and Dairy

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2019 AGM Breakout Session

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Competing Labels: Understanding Other-Method-of-Production Labels for Meat and Dairy

  1. 1. Competing Labels: Understanding Other Method of Production Labels for Meat and Dairy Dave Lockman, Pro-Cert Bita Farhang, Dairy Farmers of Ontario Ashley DeLarge, True Foods Marte Pronk Mathias Seilern Moderator: Joel Aitken, Ecocert Canada
  2. 2. Grass-Fed Certification Programs Dave Lockman, Certification Manager Celebrating over 25 years of Service!
  3. 3. Grass-Fed Certification Programs • The claim “Grass-Fed” is not regulated in Canada and the United States. • Most operators self attest to being Grass-Fed. • There are no universal Grass-Fed Standards (approximately 8 private standards in Canada and US). • Some certification programs are available.
  4. 4. Grass-Fed Certification Programs • Pro-Cert began offering Grass-Fed Certification in 2017 via the creation of the Grass-Fed Ruminant Standard. • The Pro-Cert Grass-Fed Standard is based on the Canadian Organic Standards with further restrictions on non-forage based feed (no grains allowed). • The Pro-Cert Grass-Fed certification program follows ISO 17065 (as per organic certification). • The Pro-Cert Grass-Fed standards is available to both organic and non-organic operators.
  5. 5. Grass-Fed Certification Programs • Pro-Cert offers certification to the “OPT Grass-Fed Organic Livestock Program”. “OPT” stands for The Organic Plus Trust Inc. who is the accreditor of the program. • The OPT Grass-Fed Program requires organic certification to the USDA-National Organic Program. • This program can only certify organic milk. • This program was buyer/marketer driven. • 2019 will be the first year of this program.
  6. 6. Questions
  7. 7. Grass-fed Milk Bita Farhang, Ph.D. Dairy Farmers of Ontario 12 April 2019
  8. 8. Contents • Background • Current DFO Grass-fed Milk in Ontario • DFO Interim Grass-fed Standard • National Grass-fed Milk Standard • Research & Studies • Next Steps
  9. 9. Background
  10. 10. Background • Consumer/Processors interest • No standard in place, leading to significant variances in the production practices of farms producing “grass-fed” milk. • In response to this trend, Dairy Farmers of Ontario began working on a production standard to standardize the production of milk using the “grass-fed” claim in Ontario.
  11. 11. Background • DFO staff worked with an animal nutrition expert from University of Laval to develop the terms of the Ontario grass- fed milk protocol, and launched an interim program in Ontario. • Various grass-fed dairy products launches or consideration of launches by processors does mean there is market demand. • The new niche area with most expressed interest from processors or manufacturers.
  12. 12. Current DFO Grass-fed Milk
  13. 13. Current DFO Grass-fed Milk • Grass-fed cheese : introduced by Thornloe Cheese in Summer 2017 under the DFO Interim standard , 13 grass- fed milk producers in Northern Ontario • Grass-fed butter : skimming in eastern Ontario, the milk from the 14 eastern Ontario grass-fed milk producers
  14. 14. Current DFO Organic Grass-fed Milk • Organic grass-fed butter (3 organic grass-fed Jersey producers). • Organic grass-fed fluid milk and yogurt ( 6 organic grass- fed producers ).
  15. 15. DFO Interim Grass-fed Milk Standard
  16. 16. Interim Grass-fed Milk Standard • The primary focus is feed and farming requirement. • The secondary focus is to authenticate grass fed milk based on specific biomarkers that are metabolised by cows under a grass-fed diet.
  17. 17. Feeding Protocol • Forage/grass must provide at least 75 % of the total dry matter intake. • 25% of the total dry matter intake targeted to come from grains and supplements except prohibited feeds. • Access to pasture : at least 120 days a year for 6 hours per day during the grazing period.
  18. 18. Feeding Protocol Prohibited feeds: • Corn silage • Corn distillers grains • Any type of plant oils/fats • Marine oils/fats/by-products • Full-fat oil seeds (except that solvent extracted meal of seeds is permitted); • Linseed (flaxseed) above 1 kg per day Biomarkers : • Ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 • CLA
  19. 19. National Standard for the Production of Grass-fed Milk • Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is leading the development of the national grass-fed Program. • Interest in having a national standard, to respond from similar growing consumer interest in other provinces (mainly BC and Quebec). • Established a technical committee on grass-fed milk.
  20. 20. Technical Committee DFC established a technical committee made up of representatives from both farmers and processors (breakdown below), and included DFC staff from policy, communications, and legal. Organization # of Representatives BC Dairy Association/ BC Milk Marketing Board 2 Manitoba Milk Marketing Board 1 Dairy Farmers of Ontario 3 Producteurs de lait de Quebec 1 Dairy Processors Association of Canada 1 Conseil des industriels laitiers du Quebec 1 Dairy Farmers of Canada 4
  21. 21. Research & Studies Consumer Perception What do consumers expect when buying a “grass-fed” dairy product Cost of Production How much will it cost to produce under this standard Biomarkers What biomarkers can be identified in milk produced under this standard
  22. 22. Consumer Perception Study Main takeaways Pasture Requirement Necessary 75% grass in ration in line with consumer expectations
  23. 23. Cost of Production Goal of study (ongoing): To understand the COP of proposed standard and to facilitate provinces to determine premiums.
  24. 24. Biomarker Study Main takeaways The 18:2 n-6/18:3 n-3 ratio : less than or equal to 3.5 for the first 12 months on the program, and less than or equal to 3.0 thereafter. Further testing required on seasonal variance (note added to Standard)
  25. 25. National Standard Feeding Protocol Pasture Auditing Farm Transition
  26. 26. Next Steps • Finalize the registration of a certification mark (DFC). • Conduct consultation of farmers and processors on the revised Standard (accepting feedback until April 19). • Develop communication material. • Identify and meet with certification bodies to discuss program needs. • Program launch: June 1
  27. 27. Bita Farhang , Ph.D. Manager, Research and Market Development Dairy Farmers of Ontario bita.farhang@milk.org
  28. 28. Regulatory Compliance
  29. 29. Meat, Poultry & Fish Method of Production Claims • Natural • Kosher • Halal • Homemade, artisan made • Feed no/Raised Without Animal products, by-products, fat, meal and/or bone meal • Grain fed • Raised without the use of antibiotics • Raised without the use of added hormones
  30. 30. Regulatory Compliance Food Labelling for Industry Tool
  31. 31. CFIA approved label claims • Raised without antibiotics (RWA) • Vegetable Grain fed (VGF) • Raised without the use hormones, like all pork (RWH)
  32. 32. CFIA approved label claims • Raised without antibiotics (RWA) • Grain fed (GF) • Raised without the use of added hormones (RWH)
  33. 33. We don’t just remove the medications and hope for the best... • Optimized vitamin levels • Probiotics • Organic acids • Herbal extracts • Chelated minerals • Organic selenium • Mycotoxin neutralizers • Flavours & sweeteners
  34. 34. Protocol Design • First and foremost—MOP claim compliance Customizable ‘Extras’: • Feed program • Health, • Water • Biosecurity • Disinfection practices • Animal welfare
  35. 35. ▪ Insert picture of free from day Consistently sourcing from family farms
  36. 36. Auditing Procedures – 3 levels ✔Day to day: Livestock Specialists visit farms regularly, barn tours, feed factory calibrations. ✔Internal (annual): Conducted by GVF internal audit team, using a comprehensive audit checklist that verifies compliance to MOP claims and in depth examination of feed program, health, water, biosecurity and disinfection practices. Records maintained at GVF. ✔External (bi-annual): CFIA & HACCP certified auditors (NSF) conduct the 3rd party, external audit every other year. Source with Integrity Assurance of Standards
  37. 37. Celebrated 3 million hogs February 2019!
  38. 38. • A collective responsibility to work towards transparency—truthful labelling integral • Retailer confidence & consumer trust
  39. 39. or email ashleydelarge@truefoods.ca