Where's the beef?

Prior to the last election, provincial New Democrat MLA Jagrup Brar noted "the New Era document promised to provide greater access to Crown land to protect jobs in the ranching industry." But, on February 24, 2005 the British Columbia Cattlemen's Association sent a report to cabinet that concluded the industry had lost access to that land. And now, more than a year later, the provincial government seems to be addressing those complaints. Last week, the ministry of agriculture and lands announced on BC Bid that they were looking for consultant to develop a beef cattle industry "to define the challenges to the economic viability of the industry, to determine issues pretaining to the stewardship of the land and to determine issues for resolution by government and industry." That project will be presented to a steering committee which includes representatives from agriculture and lands, the ministry of forests and range, the cattlemen's association, the British Columbia Association of Cattle Feeders and the British Columbia Feeders and Breeders Association. The following is a complete copy of that expression of interest.

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
Beef Cattle Industry Strategy
Closing Date and Time
Proposals must be received by 12:00 noon, May 17, 2006
Closing Location:
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
4rd Floor, 808 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC V8W 2Z7
Attention: Rob Simon
Contact Person
Rob Simon
Industry Strategic Planning Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
PO BOX 9120 Stn Prov GOVT
Victoria BC V8W9B4
Phone: 250 - 356-0488
Fax: 250 - 356-7279
Rob.Simon@gov.bc.ca

Executive Summary

On February 24, 2005 the British Columbia Cattlemen's Association (BCCA) released a report entitled Access to Crown Land - State of the Industry Report to the Provincial Cabinet that expressed the concern that the cattle industry has lost ground, both literally and figuratively, in terms of access to Crown land. The BCCA stated that "a vision for the cattle industry that includes access to land is needed, along with strong leadership and a plan to achieve that vision." In the BCCA report the BC Government was asked to share the industry's vision for a sustainable and vibrant ranching industry that includes new opportunities and new markets.

In June 2005, the Ministry of Forests and Range (MFR) was given an expanded mandate associated with range management "to encourage a vigorous, efficient and world competitive ranching sector in British Columbia". MFR established a Range Branch in response to government's direction to undertake this expanded mandate to promote the beef cattle ranching industry. The beef cattle industry in British Columbia, however, is structured such that a portion of the industry is primarily dependent on private land resources while the other portion is dependent on access to Crown lands.

Within the provincial government, MFR has a mandate for Crown land grazing and resource stewardship, the regulation and tenuring of Crown land for grazing and range use; and the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has a mandate for agriculture policy and sustainability, animal health and husbandry, trade and marketing, and land and resource stewardship.

MAL and MFR will collaborate with the beef cattle industry in the development of a comprehensive strategy that focuses on the success of the ranching industry. A beef cattle industry strategy is necessary for B.C. to define challenges to the economic viability of the industry, to determine issues pertaining to the stewardship of the land and to determine issues for resolution by government and the industry.

The approach to developing this strategy will be to

a) prepare a profile of the beef cattle industry in B.C.,
b) identify and assess key issues that are important to the success of the sector,
c) utilize one or more Advisory Committees comprised of industry and government participants to focus on these key issues and provide input to actions to address them,
d) define the specific strategies and meaningful actions that industry and government can pursue to address these issues.

Terms of Reference and Project Requirements

Goals:

* Development of a plan for sustainable and vibrant ranching industry that includes new opportunities and new markets.

* Improved income, profitability and long term viability for the BC beef cattle industry.

* A forward looking blueprint of emerging and non-traditional opportunities where the BC beef cattle industry can profitably diversify and develop its long term competitive advantage.

* A strategic focus for industry and government to direct their resources and energies to areas of most long term benefit to the sector.

Objectives:

* A comprehensive analysis of major competitive issues, trends and opportunities facing the BC beef cattle industry taking into account the dynamics of the global business environment, including international trade practices and the current policy, regulatory processes of government.

* A review of industry strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats including analysis of industry positioning to meet future challenges, including R&D.

* Identification of new, non-traditional market opportunities where the BC beef cattle industry can build on its competitive strengths

* Identification of priority strategic issues that industry and government can realistically address and identify strategies and actions to address the issues.

* The strategic planning exercise findings are communicated within the sector.

Timelines:

The project should be completed within approximately six months of contract award following the timeline detailed below:

- May 2006-June 2006

* Project Terms of Reference endorsed by the Steering Committee.
* Request for Expressions of Interest issued to secure a Consultant to conduct the strategy.
* Consultant to conduct strategy retained.

- June 2006-July 2006 - Preparation of the industry profile and identification of key issues, competitive analysis, and SWOT analysis

- July-August 2006 - Review and input to key issues and actions required by Steering and Advisory Committees

- September 2006 - Draft Strategy presented to the Steering Committee

- October 2006 - Strategy complete.

Context:

Purpose - the overall objective of this strategy is to conduct an assessment of the viability and profitability of the B.C. beef cattle industry and to identify actions required to strengthen the overall performance of the sector.

Project Scope and Requirements:

Project Scope

The scope of the strategy is intended to be comprehensive and is not limited to specific areas of focus. Without limiting this scope specific areas of consideration will include the following:

* Access to Crown land and water, including an analysis of existing tenures and the industry's tenure requirements
* Crown land grazing
* Marketing of B.C.'s cattle and beef
* Existing and proposed beef slaughter capacity relative to market capacity.
* Diversification opportunities available to the B.C. beef cattle industry
* The sector's capacity to respond to and cope with income risks, production risks and external risks
* The relationship of the ranching industry to environmental values and outcomes
* Foreign animal disease and food safety risks
* Industry and government organizational structures and industry-government relations
* Research and development needs and performance
* First Nations relationships

Phase 1 - Research

* The Consultant will collect and review available data to develop a profile of the beef cattle industry in B.C. and identify key issues that need to be addressed.

* The Consultant will undertake an assessment of the competitiveness of the beef cattle industry in B.C. against key competitive jurisdictions. Strategies undertaken in other jurisdictions to address the key issues identified for B.C. will be brought forward for consideration.

* Review of these key issues and input on actions to address them will be provided by one or more ad hoc Advisory Committees as selected by the Steering Committee.

* Recommended strategies and actions to address the key issues will be captured by the Consultant and rolled into a draft strategic plan for consideration by the Steering Committee.

Phase 2 - Development of an Beef Industry Strategic Plan

* The consultant will integrate the results of the analysis, consultation and steering committee input into an industry strategic plan, including an executive summary.

* The strategic plan is expected to use a clear, concise business writing style and presentation format that will assist industry and government to take concrete action on strategic issues.

* Once approved by the Steering Committee the draft strategy will be presented by the Consultant to representatives of the sponsoring parties. Based on this consultation the strategic plan will be finalized and the role of the Consultant will be complete.

Reporting and Deliverables

Formal deliverables are to be provided in both electronic and hard copy reports (15), as well verbal presentations and discussion of findings as follows:

1. Scan of the current beef industry situation, including industry profile, and new opportunities
2. Competitiveness Analysis including strategies undertaken in other jurisdictions.
3. Preliminary Analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)
4. Consultation Document for securing industry input on strategic issues and options for action
5. Draft Strategic Plan for consideration by Project Management Committee
6. Final Strategic Plan

Each deliverable builds on the previous work. The Final Report should include a 2-3 page Executive Summary, an 8-10 page Summary and an approximate 25 page report plus supplemental information appendices.

The consultant will work with the Project Management Committee to obtain guidance and direction on relevant issues, actions, project approaches and to present findings and obtain feed back at appropriate project intervals, including after phases one and two.

All materials, copyright and license relating to work performed will belong to the Province of British Columbia.

GUIDELINES FOR YOUR PROPOSAL

Responses to this invitation to quote will be required to outline the process proposed to carry out the work, including performance measures for each of the key result areas.

Submission Format

In order to receive a uniform format of Expression of Interest from all service Proponents, the following guidelines for formatting the Proposal are outlined.

1. Letter of Introduction

* One page introducing the Proponent and Proponent's submission. This should include a brief history of your company and how long you have been in business. If consultants or firms are combining forces to submit a joint bid, the proposal should clearly identify the lead consultant responsible for successful conduct of the overall study.

2. Executive Summary

* Include a summary of pertinent points in the proposal that you wish to highlight.

3. Proposed Approach

* An outline of the proposed project approach, procedures and timelines in order to meet the objectives of the project.
* Identification of the project manager and key project support personnel

4. Qualifications and References

* Details of the consulting team's experience, knowledge and success in:
* preparing sector development strategies and plans
* analyzing and identifying market opportunities
* conducting competitiveness and SWOT analysis
* conducting effective industry consultations
* working with the agriculture and agri-food processing sector
* writing reports targeting a wide audience

* Include a brief resume of the persons providing the services. Identify any subcontractors that you would engage to assist in project completion.

* References to be contacted in order verify your firm's experience and work quality. A minimum of three references required.

5. Costs

* An outline of anticipated time requirements and total cost of the proposal, excluding taxes.
* An outline of proposed rates including a breakdown by activity.
* A fee schedule for any additional work that the Management Committee may require.

6. Appendices

* Any supplemental information you consider to be of value and assistance in evaluating your response.
* Samples of work showing experience in similar projects.

Selection Criteria

Selection will be made by the Management Committee and will be based on:

* Demonstrated understanding of the scope of the project, including proposed approach;
* Organization approach to the project and in working with the committee;
* Qualifications of the firm and key individuals assigned to the project;
* Demonstrated ability to effectively integrate information with clarity and strategic focus;
* Demonstrated credibility in dealing with the beef industry and government at all levels;
* Cost effectiveness and control mechanisms;
* Absence of perceived conflict of interest with your duties to us under the agreement.

Submission Instructions and General Information

This section states the proposal submission procedures that are to be followed and general information regarding the Request for Expression of Interest process.

* It is the responsibility of the Proponent to inquire about and clarify any requirement of this Request for Expression of Interest that is not understood. Inquiries regarding the technical content and requests for copies of background material should be directed to:

Rob Simon, Industry Strategic Planning Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
PO BOX 9120 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC, V8W 9B4
Office: 808 Douglas Street, Third Floor
Victoria, BC V8W 9B4
Phone: (250) 356-0488
Fax: (250) 356-7279

* All conditions and provisions of this Request for Expression of Interest are assumed to be accepted by the Proponent and incorporated by reference in the response, except those conditions and provisions expressly excluded by the Proponent.

* On the basis of the information received, the Management Committee may select the Proponent(s) whose proposal represents the best overall value as solely determined by the Management Committee, and discuss the terms and conditions which would govern any resulting contract. Best value will include, but is not limited to:
relevant experience, capability, and qualifications in effectively providing comparable services on other similar projects; the respondent's plan to provide the required services, and, the respondent's financial proposal including payment terms.

* The Management Committee, as a result of this Request for Expression of Interest process, has no obligation to award a contract, is not bound to select the lowest priced proposal, and reserves the right to reject any and all proposals. In no event will the Province of British Columbia be responsible for costs of proposal preparation or submission. Proposals will not be returned.

* Proponents that wish to be considered must provide 10 copies of a written proposal complete with the requested information submitted to the following address by mail, courier or hand delivery, not later than Noon, May 17th, 2006.

Rob Simon, Industry Strategic Planning Specialist
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
PO Box 8248, Victoria, BC V8W 3R9
Office: 808 Douglas Street, Third Floor
Victoria, BC V8W 2Z7
Phone: (250) 356-1675
Fax: (250) 356-7279

* Proposals received after the closing time will not be considered.

* Individual presentations by the short listed proponent(s) will be required and these would occur approximately on/or about June 7th, 2006, in Kamloops or within the Lower Mainland of BC (to be confirmed at a later date). Each respondent should be prepared to substantiate any areas of the proposal submitted, its own qualifications for the services required, and any other area of interest relative to its proposal.

* All proposals submitted by Proponents will be held in strict confidence. The Steering Committee may reproduce any of the Proponent's Proposal and supporting documents for internal use by the Steering Committee in the selection process or for any other purpose required by law.

APPENDIX 1

Management Committee

* The Management Committee is a subset of, takes its advice and direction from, and acts on behalf of, the Steering Committee
* The Management Committee is responsible for timely completion of the project including:
* Confirming the terms of reference for the RFP
* Reviewing proposals, short list and interview candidates, select contractor
* Reviewing analysis/reports, providing comment and direction for the contractor
* Reviewing and finalizing the stakeholder consultation strategy and plan
* Lead implementation of the stakeholder consultation
* Reporting progress and providing recommendation to the Steering Committee
* Reviewing and finalizing the Communications Strategy and Plan to disseminate findings of the Strategic Plan

* The membership of the Steering Committee includes:

Ministry of Forests and Range
* Assistant Deputy Minister, Operations Division (Tim Sheldan) - Co-chair
* Director, Range Branch (David Borth) - Management Committee member

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
* Assistant Deputy Minister, Risk Management and Competitiveness Division (Harvey Sasaki) - Co-chair
* Director, Regional Operations (Terry Dever) - Management Committee member

British Columbia Cattlemen's Association
* President (Mark Nairn)
* General Manager (Bob France) - Management Committee member
* Director (Ed Salle)

British Columbia Association of Cattle Feeders
* President (Bill Freding)

British Columbia Feeders and Breeders Association
* President (Brian Hill)

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