The national check-off is a mandatory levy of $2.50 per head collected on cattle sales to fund research and marketing activities on behalf of the entire industry. It is collected from cattle producers when they market their cattle by provincial organizations, using their existing collection systems involving auction markets, order buyers, brand inspectors and others who handle cattle sales. The goal of the national check-off is twofold — to increase sales of domestic and export beef and to find better and more efficient methods of producing beef and beef cattle. The national check-off generates over $8 million annually and is a critical source of revenue to fund initiatives that will advance the industry and build strong markets for Canadian cattle and beef. The national check-off solely funds research and marketing activities and does not provide any funding to the Canadian Cattlemen's Association which is funded separately through provincial organizations. The national check-off provides industry funding for the Beef Cattle Research Council responsible for the industry's national research program as well as funding for Canada Beef and their work in domestic and U.S. marketing and market development in Mexico, Asia, and more recently Russia and the Middle East. 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 — and compared to other commodities falls squarely within the range of values reported for other regions and commodities and is higher in some cases. While the national check-off provides the core industry funding for research and marketing, it does not fully cover the costs of all programs and activities. Supplementary funding is obtained by leveraging the national check-off, attracting $6 for every $1 of producer check-off funds. The national check-off provides "industry funds" used as the basis to access matching dollars from other sources. At the present time, Canada's beef cattle check-off does not apply to live animals exported from Canada, nor does the levy apply to imported cattle and beef products. It is estimated that application of the national check-off to imported product would generate an additional $800,000 annually.
SCA PLAN REGULATIONS
Saskatchewan producers and livestock dealers have been paying a provincial and federal levy since April 2012. The levy or check-off, as it is also known, is collected by SCA on the sale of cattle in Saskatchewan.
The $4.50 check-off is used to finance the operations of SCA and to help achieve the objectives outlined in the National Beef Strategy. Of the $4.50 collected $2.50 is a non-refundable national levy paid to the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off agency and the remaining $2.00 funds the SCA’s operations including research, advocacy and communications.