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January 12, 2012:
What do they all have in common?
For Christoph Weder of Prairie Heritage Beef, a long time proponent of the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) process, a clear tie that binds these two National Parks with the farmer environmental stewardship tool is excellence in biodiversity.
In the case of EFP, promoting good practices for biodiversity is also part of strengthening the reputation of Canadian beef. And Weder believes all market segments of the beef business can benefit from being on top of their game in environmental management.
In Weder's experience, the practice changes that benefit the environment typically are not a cost but are a good investment because they improve productivity and sustainability. "In simplest terms, cattle grow from the land. When the land is healthy, they are more productive," he says.
Environmentally conscious consumers can feel good about Canadian beef when they see it produced in a responsible way. That can only mean good things for the industry, he says.
"We need to keep doing good things and keep telling our story," he says. "Beef production, for as much as it gets beat up in the media at times, is probably the most sustainable form of agriculture because it allows for biodiversity on huge tracts of land.
You can go across my ranch and see more biodiversity than you'll see going through Jasper or Banff sometimes. And people forget that. With Prairie Heritage Beef, that's the kind of thing we've used in developing our marketing and we find with our customers it is paying off."