Agency reduces administration to invest more into national programs

The Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency officially began a new fiscal year on April 1, 2022, and officially launched the new business plan.

For the past few years, the Agency’s administration fee has been a total of 5% of the net check-off and import revenue, but this year, the Agency has dropped that to 4.5%.

Chad Ross, the Agency’s Chair, is pleased to see the Agency taking steps to move more money into programs and strategies implemented by the national service providers.

“The best place for check-off and import levy to drive value is going to work through marketing, research and public and stakeholder engagement, which is why it’s important that we are always looking at ways to reduce the administration and get producer dollars to work,” Ross said.

In 2022/23, the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off and Canada’s Beef Import Levy is estimated to bring in approximately $18,183,000 in gross revenue.

Currently, eight of nine provinces are collecting a $2.50 national check-off, with Ontario and the Import Levy collecting $1 per head or equivalent. The Agency projects the total revenue, after administration costs, to be allocated as 57% to market development and promotion, 25% to research, 12% to provincial initiatives and 5% to public and stakeholder engagement (PSE). These allocations are set annually by each provincial cattle association one full year in advance and apply only to check-off dollars; the net beef import levy is allocated to the promotion of unbranded beef in Canada.

The Agency moves into the 2022/23 fiscal year with goals to administer the Agency with separate and distinct governance, reduce check-off slippage, and reach out to more Canadian producers about the mechanics and value of the national check-off. The Agency Members approved a 2022/23 administration budget at $917,000, which includes $115,000 in additional revenue and the estimated $802,173 from administration revenue on the check-off and import levy.

The Agency’s programs will support the operations and Board, as well as the Agency’s four strategic objectives:

Sound Governance and Administration: The current governance structure the Agency is managed under, provides clear direction for both the Agency and it’s Committees, and continues to move forward on a path of stronger governance and operational separation from the internal marketing division of the organization. The Marketing Committee is fully functional and evolving to tap into the expertise of its entire membership and continues to operate independently, but still under the general oversight of the Agency. Five years into the new structure, the Agency will now undertake a structural review to ensure that the current setup of the Marketing Committee meets the needs that it was initially created to meet.

Structured Reporting and Compliance: The Agency’s inspection program will continue to grow in 2022/23, specially if COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed this year, allowing inspectors to become more visible during routine audits areas where slippage is a known issue across provincial borders. Additional inspectors have been added to the Agency, allowing a more widespread footprint from coast to coast. The Agency’s appointed inspectors will work closely with provincial cattle associations to ensure aligned priorities and transparent audits. In tandem with the inspection program, the Agency will strengthen the communication and education components around check-off and import levy collection, remittance processes at the point of sale, and stronger communication through both partner organizations and directly to Canadian beef producers. Stakeholders can expect to see a new library of resources, and a renewed focus on targeted communications for various operation types in Canada’s beef industry.

Engaged and Educated Stakeholders: This year also marks the 20th anniversary of check-off collection, as the Agency and kicks off a five year lead up to the 25th anniversary celebration. The Agency will launch a new youth engagement strategy to help usher in a new generation of beef industry stakeholders, all while honoring and respecting the path that has led the Agency to its current role. This new engagement strategy will include outreach and communications, as well as an inward look to bring on a youth observer for a fresh perspective and linkage back to emerging industry leaders.

Strategic Communication and Collaboration: The Agency will ensure that Canadian beef producers have accessible information and resources to show the value of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off. This will come in the form of an enhanced online presence, the development of print tools and resources available on multiple platforms, in-person presentations, and by providing simple forums for producers to communicate with those who are administering and investing their check-off dollars.

Click here to read the business plan in detail.

By Tayla Fraser March 31, 2022

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