Part 4: The Next 25 Years
THAT CCIA FORMALLY REQUEST THAT CFIA/AAFC BEGIN THE REGULATORY PROCESS IN ORDER TO HAVE AN INDIVIDUAL CATTLE IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM IN CANADA FOR IMPLEMENTATION BEGINNING DECEMBER 31, 2000. “
Minutes of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency Board of Directors Meeting, December 1998.
Looking To The Future
Under the watchful eye of 9 different Board Chairs and the leadership of 4 permanent General Managers, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency has come a long way in the last 25 years. Initially responsible for the administration for both beef and dairy cattle, except in Quebec; in 2023 where the CCIA is the Responsible Administrator for traceability and identification it manages beef cattle, bison, sheep, and, pending regulatory approval, goats and cervids.
The CCIA’s vision to be a world leader in traceability for the benefit of both animal health and the protection of the human food chain has not faltered, and all those that have, and are contributing, to maintaining that vision, do so with a huge sense of pride. Things have had to evolve to maintain this, of course.
Technology has changed. In the early years, tags were simply dangle tags with a readable barcode. Today they’re small button or loop tags with silicon chips inside utilizing RF technology so that animals can be scanned with special readers which report directly to the CCIA’s Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS). That technology is under threat itself, with Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and other chip-based solutions under development that could potentially revolutionize livestock tracking and management if trials prove successful. One thing is for certain though, any new system for traceability will be rigorously tested by the CCIA before being introduced.
Distribution has changed. While the CCIA has always had control over where you can buy your RFID tags, it has not always controlled distribution of stock to your local dealer, or even through its own webstore. In fact, 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of direct sales for the CCIA through its online webstore portal which launched back in 2013 through a partnership with CDMV. Due to the growth of that initiative, in 2022 the CCIA opened its own National Distribution Centre in Calgary, and now manages the distribution of over 4 million tags a year across Canada.
CCIA services have changed. The CCIA is, and always will be, for industry by industry, and therefore identifying value added services to its portfolio of work has long been an important part of its business plan. The Agency has developed a sound reputation for data management having managed the CLTS inhouse for much of the last quarter century, and that has created opportunities to work alongside one of Canada’s largest meat processors, Cargill, to provide Chain of Custody verification to their sustainable beef program. Success in managing this has recently led to the CCIA being appointed the sole provider of Chain of Custody verification for the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), with the CRSB setting the defacto framework for sustainable beef in Canada.
As we enter our 26th year of service the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency continues to evolve and grow. 2024 will see the appointment of both a new Board Chair and General Manager, with Lyle Miller’s term coming to an end in April, and long serving GM Anne Brunet-Burgess taking up a new career challenge after 8 incredibly successful years leading the CCIA. 2024 will see the launch of one of the Agency’s biggest communication campaigns as we look to offer continued support and education around tag retention through our “Retention Matters” initiative (retentionmatters.ca). We will also see the Agency prepare itself for some of the biggest changes in traceability regulations since 1998, with the CFIA having concluded its consultation period in the Summer of 2023, it is anticipated that new traceability regulations will come into effect in 2025.
Whatever happens over the next 25 years the CCIA will continue to be a global leader in traceability and livestock identification, will continue to innovate into new areas of value-added service, and will continue to positively engage with and support livestock industry stakeholders across Canada.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and learning about the CCIA and its role within industry, please don’t forget to check out the previous chapters in this story if you haven’t already.
If you would like to learn more about the 2024 CCIA retention campaign or just want to know more about retention best practices, please visit retentionmatters.ca.