Beef Cattle Research Council

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Beef Cattle Research Council - National Check-Off

Retrieved: April 25, 2019 - 04:52 PM

The BCRC receives funding through the research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off (also referred to as the 'national check-off'), which is used to leverage additional industry and government funding including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Beef Cattle Industry Science Cluster.

Canadian Beef Cattle Check-offThe Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is a mandatory levy collected on cattle sales throughout Canada to fund research and marketing activities on behalf of the entire industry. The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is collected from cattle producers by provincial organizations of beef producers when cattle are marketed using existing collection systems involving auction markets, order buyers, brand inspectors and others who handle cattle sales. Funds are then transferred to the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency. More on producer check-offs.

The national check-off began as $1 per head in the 1990's. Firm support was voiced across Canada’s beef cattle industry for a $1.50 per head increase in the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off to advance the goals of the National Beef Strategywhich was published in 2015. Nearly all provincial cattle associations have passed resolutions to increase to $2.50 per head. Nova Scotia was the first province to raise the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off to $2.50 per head, effective January 1, 2017

The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off generates approximately $7.5 million annually and is a critical source of revenue to fund initiatives that will advance the industry, build strong markets for Canadian cattle and beef, and reduce cost of production.

The goal of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is twofold:

  • to find better and more efficient methods of producing high quality beef and beef cattle
  • to increase sales of domestic and export beef

The research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is managed by the BCRC and is used to identify and fund research and development of priority for the Canadian beef cattle industry.

The marketing allocation is managed by Canada Beef to fund their marketing work domestically and in the U.S., as well as oversees.

An increasing emphasis toward building public trust and confidence in how cattle are raised and where they come from led to the creation of the Public and Stakeholder Engagement Program in 2016.  The Public and Stakeholder Engagement Program (formerly referred to as the Issues Management Program) is operated as a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) in partnership with Canada Beef. The Public and Stakeholder Engagement team works with national and provincial beef organizations to address consumer questions and issues that could erode consumer and public confidence in the beef industry.

The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off solely funds research, marketing activities, and public and stakeholder engagement. The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) receives the portion of national check-off dollars allocated to public and stakeholder engagement, but cannot use any national check-off funds for policy, advocacy or lobbying activities. Those CCA activities are funded separately through provincial organizations, which collect an unrelated check-off to fund lobbying efforts.

At the present time, Canada’s Beef Cattle Check-Off does not apply to live animals exported from Canada. As of January 1, 2014, all imports of beef and beef products into Canada are subject to the levy of $1 per head or carcass equivalent, worth $900,000 annually on average.

Investment in Research

While the entire Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off is collected then transferred from provincial organizations to the marketing and research bodies, the provincial organizations determine the allocation to each.

The BCRC is projected to receive a national average of 37 percent of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off in 2018-19.

Return on Investment

An independent study evaluating economic benefits from the national check-off shows that Canadian beef cattle producers' funding of research and marketing activities has delivered strong return on investment. Compared to other commodities, Canada’s beef cattle check-off falls squarely within the range of values reported for other regions and commodities, and is higher in some cases.

The study found that returns on investments in research by producers are 34.5:1. The extremely high return to research was mainly attributed to research being historically underfunded, and the fact that applied research tools are directly available to producers.

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