New resources available for producers seeking certification

Emma Cross

VBP+ has been working on some new resources to help make it easier for producers to prepare for certification. The Self-Assessment Field Guide and two new online courses guide a producer though the VBP+ audit criteria to help ensure success.

self-assessment-field-guide-coverThe Self-Assessment Field Guide is a document that is intended to be taken out onto an operation to help a producer understand how they are performing in the areas of assessment for an audit. The guide lists each area assessed during an audit, with the scoring descriptors for each topic.

The minimum score is highlighted on each question as either a VBP+ Standard or VBP+ Required item. VBP+ Standard items have a minimum score of 1, requiring an understanding and awareness of the area. VBP+ Required questions have a minimum score of 2 and are considered Critical Control Points, meaning records will be requested.

In each scoring table, there is a blank column for a producer to check off their own assessment of how they are performing. Once the producer has gone through the guide, they can review their responses and decide where they might need to make changes or review the VBP+ 2.0 training before scheduling an audit.

The Self-Assessment Field Guide is available on our website on the Producer Reference Manual page. Click here for a PDF version.

Going hand in hand with the field guide, VBP+ has created an online Pre-Certification Self-Assessment course through the Canadian Cattle Learning Center. This course offers the same list of required areas and their corresponding scoring, but in a convenient online format that delivers a producer with a summary of their results.

Finally, the VBP+ Certification Process online course is a quick online module on the Canadian Cattle Learning Center that goes over all the steps that a producer must go through to get certified. This is a great resource for producers who are still considering the program and want to know what they are signing up for, or for producers who have started the process and need direction for next steps.

cclc-dashboard-screenshotBoth the Pre-Certification Self-Assessment and the Certification Process courses, as well as other VPB+ training material, can be accessed by creating a free account in the Canadian Cattle Learning Center. From the Dashboard, scroll down to Featured Courses to find the Pre-Certification Self-Assessment. These two courses are offered at no cost.  

All of these resources will be available in French. For more VBP+ resources, explore our website and stay tuned to the VBP+ blog and social media!

Apply for the FCC Sustainability Incentive Program

Emma Cross

Last year, Farm Credit Canada (FCC) launched an initiative to recognize the efforts of producers certified with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).  On May 2, 2023, applications for the program will reopen!

fccFCC will provide a payment to FCC customers who are CRSB certified through one of the CRSB’s certification bodies, including VBP+. So, VBP+ certified producers can take advantage of this opportunity.

“FCC is happy to be reopening applications for our sustainability programs. We are in a unique position to work with individual sectors in the agriculture and food industry on their sustainability goals,” explains Curtis Grainger, FCC’s director of sustainability programs. “The progress we’re seeing looks different depending on the sector and on an individual’s operation. That’s why the established, verified initiatives at CRSB and McCain Foods are important partnerships that allow us to support producers with their individual needs.”

Producers can receive up to $2,000, calculated as a portion of your lending with FCC, excluding operating credit. Producers can reapply annually.

“VBP+ appreciates FCC’s investment in certified producers through their Sustainability Incentive Program,” says Shannon Argent, VBP+ Business Manager. “Financially incentivizing producers who take the time and effort to participate in certification shows the commitment shared by both producers and stakeholders to advancing sustainability in the Canadian beef industry.”

If you are already certified, you can apply through the FCC page here. You will need to provide the following:

  • Contact information
  • FCC customer number
  • Certification body used (i.e. VBP+ if you are certified with us)
  • Copy of certificate

Note that you must be an FCC customer in good standing with an amount owing on current lending, and your CRSB certification must be current.

If you aren’t yet certified but want to join the program to be eligible, contact your VBP+ provincial coordinator using the info here to learn more. The provincial coordinator can set you up with an in-person training session or direct you to our online Canadian Cattle Learning Center to get started.

After training and pre-audit prep with a coordinator, contact VBP+ Delivery Services Inc. (the certification branch of VBP+). Find contact info here.

For an overview of the certification process and five-year audit cycle, click here.