Making the Case for the Increased Check-Off

For Canadian Cattle Association Action News

In each province, two “check-offs” are collected, usually as one single lump sum: a provincial check-off or service fee, and the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off (national check-off). It is the latter that is managed by the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency (Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency, or the Agency), and is the check-off which is linked to the goals in the National Beef Strategy.

In 2015, all of Canada’s provincial cattle associations agreed in principle, to the goals of the National Beef Strategy and how they would be delivered on.  Today, focus continues to be on the National Beef Strategy to show the benefits that the industry could see from an increased check-off.

Most provinces have begun collecting an increased check-off of $2.50 (up from $1) sometime in 2018. The Maritime provinces were first on board, followed by Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba recently in April, Quebec in June and BC in July.  To attain national treatment, and collect the equivalent amount on imported beef, the country needs to show a national collection of the $2.50.

Producers across the country continue to ask the question: “What is the extra Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off investment going to do for me?”

Today’s beef industry is different than the industry was in 1999 when the $1 per head Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off was first collected nationally. That same dollar is only worth about $0.70 today.  The reduced buying power, combined with decreased cattle marketings and the wind down of industry funds like the $80 million Legacy fund, have left the Canadian beef industry with funding challenges not only to grow the industry, but even to maintain the current level of programming.

It is also important to remember that each dollar invested into programming by the industry provides opportunities to leverage those dollars for additional government funding.  That means that without an increase in funding, there is potential for an even greater reduction in investment into our industry for crucial programming

Many of the goals set out in the National Beef Strategy fall to the Beef Cattle Research Council, Canada Beef and the industry’s Issues Management team to deliver on. These organizations are funded through national check-off investment, and without an increase to those dollars remitted and the subsequent government investment, those goals may not be realized.

For producers who still have questions about the check-off increase, funding allocations, return on investment, and how the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is administered, we encourage you to talk to your provincial cattle association, or your provincial association representative to the Agency. Both can provide additional information about how your province is looking at the check-off increase, the timelines and how your province allocates check-off between research, market development and promotion.

We also encourage you to sign up for our monthly newsletter below, or following us on Facebook and Twitter at @cdnbeefcheckoff to stay engaged and learn how the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off continues to bring returns for producers. The Agency will continue to measure the value of the national check-off and communicate regularly to ensure the investment for an increased Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is clear to producers across Canada.

By Tayla Fraser October 4, 2018

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