Beef Quality

The quality of Canadian beef products form the basis of consumer demand and trade and contribute significantly to competitiveness with other beef exporters and other protein sources in the world markets.  Traditionally Canada has successfully produced a youthful, lean, commodity beef product based on a primarily grain-based feedlot production system.  The product responds to a grading system which rewards for these characteristics.  However, both the consuming public and our competitors continue to change and the beef industry recognizes the importance of strengthening our competitive advantages through improving product consistency and continuing to enhance carcass and meat quality.

Further research is needed to continually improve consumer satisfaction with Canadian Beef, and validate the Canadian Beef Advantage relative to international competitors.

Beef Quality Audits

Consumer satisfaction is critically important to the Canadian beef industry. Regular audits provide the information necessary to enhance the quality and safety of Canadian beef while increasing the profitability of the Canadian beef and cattle industry. An audit helps the industry to:

  • identify ways in which Canadian beef may be superior to its international competitors
  • identify carcass and beef quality attributes that could be improved through animal and carcass management, and
  • measure improvements in quality of Canadian beef over time.

Carcass Grading

The grading of beef carcasses is an important step in delivering consistent beef products to consumers. Grading places carcasses into uniform groups of similar quality. The information collected through the grading process is used in making marketing and production decisions. Producers receive premiums for carcasses with a high grade. While the grading system is voluntary, virtually all fed beef carcasses processed commercially in Canada are graded. Read More...

Dark-cutting Beef

Dark-cutting is a condition that is severely penalized in youthful (under 30 months) carcasses within the Canadian grading system. Carcasses that ‘cut dark’ are assigned a grade of Canada B4 and their value is reduced by up to 50 cents per pound. This represents an estimated loss of up to $1.4 million per year to Canadian beef producers, assuming 2% of the total slaughter cattle population produced a dark-cutting carcass. In 2011, 1.3% of fed slaughter carcasses in Canada graded B4. Read More...

Distillers' Grains

Distillers’ grains are a by-product from the process of grain-based ethanol production and can be used as an economical commodity in feeding cattle. As long as bioethanol production continues at current levels, the feedlot industry in Canada will feed distillers’ grains in order to produce beef as efficiently as our trading partners. Most distillers’ grains in North America come from corn with some from sorghum and wheat. Corn distillers’ grains are sold produced in Eastern Canada and the U.S. Wheat distillers’ grains, or a mixture of wheat and corn, are produced in Western Canada. Read More...

Forage Finishing
Functional Fatty Acids
Nutritional Qualities of Beef

Beef is a nutrient rich food that can help people meet their nutrient needs within their calorie goals, as part of an overall healthy pattern of eating.  This report summarizes beef’s role in health from the perspective of its nutrient content, Canadian consumption levels, an examination between red meat and chronic disease. Read More...

Tenderness - Genetics
Tenderness - Processing

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