Funding for Wheat and Barley Research and Market Development - Check-off (October 18, 2011)
The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act will give Western Canadian wheat and barley farmers the freedom to market their grain as they choose and unleash the true economic potential of the prairie grain sector by removing the mandatory requirement to market wheat and barley through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB).
The Harper Government is a strong supporter of research, innovation and market development as they create opportunities for growth and increased profitability at the farm gate. Our Government's top priority is the economy, in which agriculture plays a vital role.
The Harper Government agrees with the Working Group on Marketing Freedom that the research and market development activities being carried out by the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) are vital for the Western Canadian grain value chain and these activities must continue without disruption.
The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act allows for the implementation of a voluntary check-off that would be in place for the transition period to support the ongoing work of these organizations and ensure there is no gap in funding. The intent is to provide a similar level of funding to the amount collected from farmers by the CWB over the transition period to allow the grain value chain to develop a long-term plan for ongoing funding.
Details of the check-off, including the mechanism for opting out, the mechanisms for control of the funds, and reporting requirements will be developed in the regulatory process in consultation with industry over the coming months.
The current 2011-12 check-off for WGRF funding, and CWB funding for CIGI and the CMBTC will be deducted from the pool accounts, as usual.