About / Producers
In 2007 a group of us (producers, processors, butchers, retailers, chefs and restaurant owners) launched the Manitoba Grass-Fed Beef Association (MGFBA) to develop a value chain for grass-fed beef. We continue to work with chefs & the food processing industry to develop new recipes for our beef and source more avenues for distribution. We recognize the need for high, consistent quality so we have established a production protocol.
Today we market our premium cuts such as steaks, roasts, etc. and ground beef directly to consumers, retailers, restaurants and at some farmer markets in summer. We also sell our value added products which include Saskatoon berry and wine sausage, pate, dill sausage, hot dogs, and meat pies.
MGFBA Vision: Our vision is for all consumers to have access to 100% Manitoba grass-fed beef.
Mission Statement: Our mission is to provide high quality 100% grass-fed beef to consumers through the development of successful value-chains that include producers, processors, and retailers.
1. Environmentally friendly production
2. Animal welfare
3. Traceability and food safety
4. Transparency of production
5. Locally produced
6. Family farm sustainability
7. Building relationships
Beef Production Protocol
A production protocol is frequently used by those in a value chain to ensure that the quality of the product meets market specifications. This protocol was developed by members of the MGFBA and with some external stakeholder consultation and is representative of some of the regulations currently being used in the industry. Each animal has an affidavit that includes:
- individual animal identification (microchip, animal tag)
- birth date
- weaning date
- record of sire and dam
- movement history
- veterinary interventions
- feeding records
Ultrasound testing is not required for participation in the MGFBA.
It is recommended that animals are weighed every 90 days to manage herd genetics. The diet of each animal must be recorded.
Animal diets must be 100% forage from weaning to slaughter; this may be any combination of grass and legumes from pasture during the growing season or stored forage during the feed period (winter). The animal (including calves) cannot be fed energy in the form of starch (e.g. cereal grains, potato waste, etc).
- Weaned calves cannot be fed energy in the form of starch and/or other milk or milk products.
- Cereal crops are to be harvested prior to milk-stage (to ensure no starch).
- All feed must be non-GMO (including all annual and perennial crops).
- Oil seeds and oil seed by-products (e.g. meal, oil) are acceptable feed types.
- Cereal grain supplementation, including corn silage, dry distiller’s grain or other high starch feeds are not permitted.
- The use of animal by-products in feed is not permitted.
- The use of antibiotics are not permitted from conception to slaughter in the animals sold under the MGFBA brand, including the mother cows after breeding.
The Association encourages maintaining herd health to Canadian standards. Antibiotics are not permitted as a part of the daily feed mix for animals of any age. Animals receiving antibiotic injections at anytime from their conception to slaughter are not permitted in meat products sold under the MGFBA brand.Treated animals must be removed from the MGFBA finishing program.
- Cattle are to be treated in a humane way according to Canadian standards.
- Animals are in good health at delivery.
- Farms must be inspected by an independent, third party verifier during the production period with the producer certifying the management practices being used. Currently, the Canadian Verified Beef Program provides these certification services.
Download Production Protocol