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SOR/2012-152 July 26, 2012
CANADA GRAIN ACT
Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance (Wheat and Barley)
P.C. 2012-997 July 26, 2012
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, pursuant to section 83.2 (see footnote a) of the Canada Grain Act (see footnote b), makes the annexed Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance (Wheat and Barley).
REGULATIONS RESPECTING RESEARCH, MARKET DEVELOPMENT
AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (WHEAT AND BARLEY)
1. In these Regulations, “Commission” means the Alberta Barley Commission.
2. These Regulations apply to wheat and barley grown in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and the Peace River District of British Columbia.
3. The Commission is the agency to which amounts are to be remitted under section 83.1 of the Canada Grain Act.
4. (1) Any person required to issue a cash purchase ticket under the Act must collect a deduction of the following amounts:
- (a) $0.48 per tonne for wheat; and
- (b) $0.56 per tonne for barley except in the case of barley grown in Alberta for which the amount to be collected is $0.04 per tonne.
(2) The amounts that are deducted must be remitted to the Commission within 30 days from the end of the month in which they are collected along with a report that indicates the amounts deducted in respect of wheat and barley from each producer.
REFUNDS OF AMOUNTS DEDUCTED
5. (1) Any producer may make an application for a refund from the Commission of any amount that was deducted under subsection 4(1).
(2) The application must be in the appropriate form supplied by the Commission, be signed and dated and contain the producer’s name, mailing address and telephone number.
(3) The application may be made once every crop year and must be submitted by July 31 of that crop year.
(4) The Commission must remit the refund no later than 60 days after the end of the crop year.
6. The Commission must provide an annual report to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food no later than 90 days after the end of the crop year that contains the following information in respect of wheat and of barley:
- (a) the total amounts of deductions;
- (b) the total amounts paid for research activities into new and improved varieties of wheat and of barley, the recipients of the funds and a description of those activities;
- (c) the total amounts paid for the promotion of the marketing and use of wheat and of barley, the recipients of the funds and a description of those activities;
- (d) the total amounts paid for technical assistance relating to the use of wheat and of barley, the recipients of the funds and a description of the technical assistance activities;
- (e) the total amounts of refunds; and
- (f) details of the administrative costs.
COMING INTO FORCE
7. These Regulations come into force on August 1, 2012.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
The Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) provided research funding through administering a producer check-off for wheat and barley under the Canadian Wheat Board Act and provided direct funding for market development and technical assistance. The check-off is a deduction taken from a grain producer’s final CWB payment to support wheat and barley research. The funds from the producer check-off went to the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF). The CWB provided direct funding to the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI) and the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) to invest in market development and technical assistance. This money also came from producers as the CWB used a portion of the proceeds from selling producers’ wheat and barley to fund these organizations.
Funds collected through the producer check-off were invested into wheat and barley variety development through public breeding programs across Western Canada (i.e. through partnerships with university crop development centres and government research facilities — all providing public goods). A large number of wheat and barley varieties grown on farms today were developed through research funded by the producer check-off.
The contributions provided to CIGI by the CWB were used for market development and technical assistance activities such as delivering customer training programs, providing applied technical services and developing new products and end use applications for Canadian grains.
The technical assistance funding provided by the CWB to CMBTC was used for activities such as crop evaluation, training programs for customers and purchasers, technical support and product testing, all of which help ensure Canada’s competitiveness in malting barley export markets.
The existing WGRF check-off ceased with the repeal of the Canadian Wheat Board Act on August 1, 2012. Without a monopoly on Western Canadian wheat and barley sales, the new voluntary CWB will not have the same guaranteed market it had prior to this change and is not expected to be in the financial position to support CIGI and CMBTC as it has in the past. Also, the CWB will be competing with other grain companies, and it would not be appropriate for the CWB to be the sole industry supporter of these organizations who provide sector wide benefits. Without the check-off outlined in these Regulations, research and market development activities would lose access to funding and become severely curtailed.
The Government, supported by industry, has maintained that wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance activities should continue as they benefit Canada’s grain sector. The transitional check-off will continue producer funding for research, market development and technical assistance activities during the five-year transition phase, allowing the industry time to establish a long-term funding model.
With the end of the Canadian Wheat Board Act on August 1, 2012, the current producer check-off for WGRF research will end after the 2011–12 crop year final payments. CWB direct funding to CIGI and CMBTC ended in spring 2012.
The Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act included an amendment to the Canada Grain Act that takes effect August 1, 2012, and allows the Governor in Council to establish by regulation a wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance check-off. This check-off will temporarily replace the current wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance support provided through the CWB while the industry develops a long-term funding model for these activities.
The objectives of these Regulations are to
- Continue producer funding for wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance on an interim basis; and
- Establish a transitional deduction with characteristics that closely mirror the previous CWB funding.
These Regulations establish a refundable point of sale check-off to support wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance lasting no longer than five years. After this timeframe it will be up to the industry to develop and administer its own check-off, if supporting these activities continues to be a priority for the grain sector.
The transitional check-off deduction will be made on sales of wheat and barley delivered to licensed grain buyers who issue cash purchase tickets. A cash purchase ticket is a document issued as evidence of the purchase of grain by a licensed facility as per the Canada Grain Act. The deduction will not apply to producer to producer sales, and feed and export sales not delivered through licensed facilities. In these transactions, a cash purchase ticket would not be issued as per the Canada Grain Act. The deduction will be applied to wheat and barley grown in the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and that part of the province of British Columbia known as the Peace River District similar to the past jurisdiction of the CWB. Therefore, the deduction will not apply to imported grain or grain grown outside this area.
The check-off funds will be submitted to a “prescribed agency.” The prescribed agency will receive the deducted amounts, arrange for their use for wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance, process producer requests for refunds, and provide annual reports to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. The Alberta Barley Commission (ABC) is named as the prescribed agency. The ABC is a non-profit, producer-funded organization established in 1991. AAFC and ABC intend to establish a Memorandum of Understanding clarifying the WGRF, CIGI and CMBTC as the recipients of the check-off and identifying the portion of the funds to be allocated to each.
Similar to past procedures, producers are able to request in writing a refund of the amount deducted. The refund request would be sent by the producer to ABC on an annual basis.
The goal of these Regulations was to establish a base funding amount for research, market development and technical assistance similar to levels previously provided through or by the CWB. Previously, the CWB research check-off provided to the WGRF was based on per tonne rates of $0.30 per tonne for wheat and $0.50 per tonne for barley but is paid only if there is a CWB final payment to producers. In 2010, the WGRF received check-offs for wheat valued at $5,394,000 and $994,000 for barley. The CWB board of directors determined the funding that was directed to CIGI and CMBTC for market development and technical assistance as part of their business planning. In 2009–2010, the CWB contributed a combined total of $2.3 million to CIGI and CMBTC.
The transitional check-off rates were set at a level that replaces the previous CWB wheat and barley research check-offs and market development and technical assistance cash transfers supported by the CWB. The check-off will provide a base dollar per tonne deduction level that recreates these past funding levels. The deduction amount takes into account other variables such as historical average volumes of wheat and barley delivered to licensed facilities and historical producer opt-out figures. It also takes into consideration approximately 5% for administrative fees to cover the check-off process, monitoring and administrative costs.
The transitional check-off rates break down to $0.30 per tonne for research, $0.15 per tonne for market development and technical assistance and $0.03 per tonne for administration for wheat and $0.50 per tonne for research, $0.03 per tonne for market development and technical assistance and $0.03 per tonne for administration for barley.
For these Regulations, this adds up to a $0.48 total deduction rate for wheat and a $0.56 deduction rate for barley. These deduction amounts are intended to replicate the past funding levels. The actual funding levels provided by this check-off will depend on the volume of wheat and barley sold through licensed facilities and will vary with production volumes and producer refund requests.
In Alberta, the barley deduction will be $0.04 per tonne, representing market development and technical assistance and a portion of the administration fee. Alberta barley was previously exempt from the CWB research check-off as it already had a provincial check-off in place and as a result will also be exempt from the research portion of the transitional check-off.
The issue of research and market development funding was discussed during the consultation process for the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act throughout the summer of 2011. During these consultations a Working Group on Marketing Freedom was established, which consisted of representatives from industry, academia and government. The Working Group met in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on a number of occasions between July and September, 2011. The Working Group heard from a number of stakeholders and recommended continuing the funding for research and market development through a temporary check-off system as these functions benefit the industry. These recommendations were published in the Working Group’s Final Report.
A number of producer groups and organizations have also written directly to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food expressing support for the continuation of research, market development and technical assistance funding that is currently provided through the CWB.
A general consensus among stakeholders and the Working Group was that research and market development activities are vital for Western Canada’s grain industry and they need to continue without disruption. Industry understands that Canada needs to improve upon its research, market development and technical assistance in order to remain competitive in international markets. Stakeholder groups have not expressed any opposition to the continued funding for research, market development and technical assistance.
On May 26, 2012, the proposed Regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, followed by a 30-day public comment period. During the prepublication period AAFC received 16 submissions. AAFC has reviewed and considered these comments as part of its revision of the Regulations.
Overall, 10 out of the 16 submitted comments expressed stakeholder support for the overall objectives of the Regulations. As well, the majority of submissions stressed the importance of having the Regulations authorized by August 1, 2012, to ensure mechanisms are in place for a smooth implementation.
Comments received fell into five key categories:
- Prescribed agency;
- Processing and timelines;
- Transition to new provincial organizations; and
- Amount of check-off.
1. Prescribed agency
A small number of comments were received showing concern over the choice of the ABC as the prescribed agency. This concern stemmed from the prescribed agency being viewed as representing only one of the commodities (i.e. barley) and one of the provinces, and thus not representing all producers impacted by the Regulations. It is understandable that any one organization would not have unanimous support as the prescribed agency. However, the ABC was chosen for the role of the prescribed agency based on its past experience administering a check-off, its ability to oversee the transitional check-off and its industry contacts. The ABC’s role as the prescribed agency is separate from the other duties of the ABC in its role as a barley producer organization. The ABC is working with AAFC to ensure the Government’s goals and objectives of the new Regulations are met.
Comments were received expressing concerns about the ABC having the authority to determine which organizations would receive the check-off funds and how much they would receive. As per the Canada Grain Act, the prescribed agency may use any amount it receives for purposes of research, market development, technical assistance and administrative costs. However, the ABC and AAFC intend to enter a Memorandum of Understanding to clarify the WGRF, CIGI and CMBTC as the recipients of the check-off funds and the portion each will receive.
Comments were received from organizations expressing concerns that the refund submission deadline of December 31 was restrictive for producers as it fell too early into the crop year. A producer not delivering wheat or barley prior to December 31 may not be aware of the deduction and upon first delivery would have missed the opportunity to request a refund. The suggestion to make the refund deadline later would reduce producer burden while remaining with the intent and purpose of the new Regulations. Therefore, the proposed Regulations from the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, have been amended to address these concerns by extending the refund application deadline from December 31 to the end of the crop year, July 31.
Individual producers provided comments and expressed concern about the check-off being automatic at the point of sale and suggested a voluntary check-off at the point of sale would be preferred. With the goal of keeping the new Regulations as similar as possible to the previous CWB structure, and to avoid disrupting normal business operations or imposing significant burden on stakeholders, the new Regulations establish that the wheat and barley check-off is automatically deducted whenever a cash purchase ticket is issued. This minimizes the administrative burden on licensed grain companies and functions similarly to other commodity check-offs. This also helps standardize the process and reduces the chance of errors and stakeholder dissatisfaction. Producers still have the choice to participate in the wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance check-off or not. If they do not wish to participate, they can request a refund.
3. Processing and timelines
With respect to the processing timelines identified in the new Regulations, concern was expressed by stakeholders that these were restrictive. Submissions by industry organizations suggested the extension of some specific timelines to make compliance easier to achieve.
One of these timelines was regarding section 4.2 of the Regulations that states the deadline for the licensed grain companies to remit the check-off funds to the prescribed agency. It was suggested to amend the wording from 30 days after collection to 30 days after the end of the month in which the funds are collected. The suggestion clarifies the instructions and allows the licensed grain companies to submit the funds once a month, as opposed to the possible interpretation of remittance required daily on a rolling basis. This adjustment in the wording of section 4.2 will be incorporated in the Regulations as it clarifies this requirement and reinforces the Government’s intent of the Regulations without adjusting the purpose.
Another processing deadline commented on was the refund processing deadline of 60 days after the end of the crop year as stated in section 5.4. Comments were received from industry organizations stating that the 60-day timeframe did not allow enough time to properly identify the refunds, tally the refund amounts, produce reports and issue the refund to producers. Incoming comments suggested extending the deadline out to 120 days after the end of the crop year to ensure the refunds would be processed correctly and within the established deadline. However, the extension to process the refunds would cause a delay in producers receiving them.
Comments were also received pertaining to section 6 of the Regulations, suggesting to lengthen the time required for the prescribed agency to provide an annual report to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food from 90 days to 150 days. This increase to the report submission deadline would allow the prescribed agency more time to ensure all transactions and internal reports for the previous crop year were processed and verified prior to summarizing and submitting the annual report. This suggestion was based upon and submitted along with the above suggestion of extending the refund processing deadline. This adjustment is dependent on the possible extension of the refund processing deadline. An extension to the refund processing deadline would require an extension for the time required to provide an annual report. These suggestions will not be incorporated at this time to avoid a delay in implementation.
Suggestions also related to the reporting requirements regarding the licensed grain companies’ remittance to ABC. It was suggested the remittance report from the licensed grain companies to the ABC should provide additional information beyond what was stated in the draft Regulations, such as the class of wheat to which the check-off was deducted. Such additional reporting requirements are not required for the basic check-off functionality but represent asset information. Collection, disbursement and refund activities are all possible with the existing reporting requirements stipulated in the Regulations.
4. Transition to newly established provincial organizations
During the comment period, comments were received pertaining to how newly established provincial wheat and barley producer organizations would participate in the Regulations. It was suggested that once a provincial producer organization became operational, they would act as a prescribed agency, overseeing the portion of the wheat and barley check-off relevant to their organization. This suggestion may assist in moving to an industry-led funding mechanism once the transition period ends and could further producer involvement in research, market development and technical assistance endeavours. However, it would also impact the check-off structure with possible implications at all stages of the process, from collection through to disbursement and reporting. Due to the possible implications, a detailed review of all the current and future effects on stakeholders would be required. Therefore, this suggestion will not be incorporated at this time.
5. Amount of check-off
Concern was raised that the check-off amounts were not high enough to ensure the sector remains competitive. The suggestion was to use this opportunity to raise the amount of the check-off, thus improving the industry’s research funding base and improving the industry’s global competitiveness. Additionally, concern was raised specifically around the amount of the barley check-off intended for market development and technical assistance. The specific concern was that the barley check-off rate was thought to be too low to provide an amount of funding equivalent to previous financial support provided to CMBTC from the CWB and would not cover current obligations. The check-off rates were established taking into consideration historical cash funding transfers, average production volumes and potential refund requests. As per the objectives of the Regulations, check-off funding levels were to remain as similar as possible to the previous CWB funding. In keeping with the overall objectives and the temporary nature of the Regulations, the amount of the wheat and barley check-off is not being considered for amendment at this time. Further review into the barley check-off concern identified that some of the funding included in the submissions’ analysis did not qualify as cash transfers.
The suggestion was received during the comment period to incorporate the new transitional check-off into the existing Alberta barley check-off. The federal Alberta barley check-off amount of $0.04 per tonne for market development and technical assistance could be provided out of the existing Alberta barley check-off. The suggestion may simplify the check-off for producers and licensed grain companies as only one deduction would be taken to cover both individual check-offs. It may also prevent Alberta barley producers from viewing the ABC as double collecting. However, the suggestion could pose some reporting implications for ABC and possibly impact other wheat and barley organizations. Therefore, further review of this suggestion and the impact it could have on all stakeholders would be needed and it will not be incorporated at this time.
Another concern identified was related to the administration portion of the check-off. It was suggested the portion of the check-off intended to cover administrative costs could be allocated to assist the licensed grain companies in processing the transitional wheat and barley check-off. Licensed grain companies are required to collect, remit and report on the wheat and barley check-off. However, the Canada Grain Act stipulates the funds can be used for purposes of covering the administrative costs associated with the check-off by the prescribed agency and does not provide authority to directly allocate the funds elsewhere. Additionally, licensed grain companies collect check-offs for a number of commodity organizations and it is not general practice to provide financial compensation for the collector of these check-offs.
6. “One-for-One” Rule
The “One-for-One” Rule applies to the Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance (Wheat and Barley). These Regulations are considered an “in” under the Rule as they are new and would introduce a small increase in administrative burden to stakeholders. Previously, the CWB alone was responsible for collecting the wheat and barley research check-off from producers and distributing the funds to the WGRF. With the new Regulations, the collection and remittance of the transitional wheat and barley check-off will be shared amongst all issuers of cash purchase tickets (e.g. grain elevators) instead of being solely the CWB’s responsibility as it was in the past.
Formal and informal consultations and conversations were held with industry stakeholders to understand and better determine the incremental administrative burden associated with these Regulations.
Licensed grain elevators are already familiar with and capable of processing check-offs, as a number of different grain commodities have them in place (e.g. canola). Once the transitional wheat and barley check-off is set up and initiated, the additional ongoing administrative burden will be minimal.
Based on input and information provided by industry stakeholders, AAFC determined that the Regulations will have an annualized average increase in administrative burden for all stakeholders of $429,033 which equates to an annualized average increase of $10 per stakeholder.
The two stakeholder groups affected by these Regulations are wheat and barley producers in the West and licensed grain companies (including licensed grain dealers and elevators). The majority of the administrative burden will be borne by the licensed grain companies, as they will be required to deduct the check-off when a delivery is made and to remit the check-off funds to the prescribed agency.
One area of increased administrative burden for producers will be the time required to become familiar with the new check-off. It will take approximately 15 minutes for each producer to read and understand the information available on these Regulations.
The historical opt-out rate for the previous CWB research check-off was approximately 5% of producers. AAFC estimates the refund rate for the transitional wheat and barley check-off will increase by approximately 3% to 5%. Therefore, the refund rate for the check-off is estimated to be approximately 10% of producers. The anticipated increase in refund requests is a result of the check-off being perceived as new to producers, producers not wishing to support the adjusted structure of the check-off, or the check-off now creating funding for market development and technical assistance, in addition to research. This will increase the administrative burden for those additional producers now requesting a refund. The refund request will follow a process similar to the previous CWB research check-off (i.e. a written request is required on an annual basis). It will take approximately 10 minutes for each producer to complete and submit a refund request.
The other stakeholder group that will experience an increase in administrative burden is the licensed grain companies. Although licensed grain companies are already experienced with processing check-offs for a number of other grain commodities, the transitional check-off will result in a minimal increase in administration, mostly at the set-up stage.
The licensed grain companies will be required to compile a monthly summary report of the wheat and barley check-offs collected and send this report along with the check-off funds to the ABC. Industry has suggested that this will take approximately three to five hours of staff time per month for each company. The burden of this requirement will be minimal as licensed grain elevators are already conducting these functions for other check-offs.
The check-off collection will be monitored throughout the process and audited on an as-needed basis. If there is a discrepancy, further investigation will take place. When a discrepancy occurs, licensed grain elevators will be approached to provide further information. Stakeholders have suggested gathering additional information for audit purposes will take approximately three to five days of staff time for each company.
Licensed grain elevators will also represent an information source for producers by providing information on the requirements outlined in these Regulations. This will pose minimal burden, as licensed grain elevators already perform these functions for other check-offs. Based on past experience, grain companies suggest it takes approximately one hour of staff time for each company per month to direct producer inquiries to an information source. To reduce the impact of this burden, AAFC and ABC will provide licensed grain companies with relevant information and contact details to address possible producer questions.
7. Small business lens
The small business lens does not apply to the Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance (Wheat and Barley). Using the regulatory cost calculator, the impact of compliance and administration costs on small businesses was considered when developing these Regulations. The total incremental change and impact of these Regulations on small businesses were below the established threshold. All stakeholders will experience a slight increase in administrative requirements but insignificant overall costs.
The Canada Grain Act authorizes the creation of regulations for the implementation of a refundable point of sale check-off to support wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance lasting no longer than five years.
The Alberta Barley Commission was chosen as the prescribed agency based on its contact to industry, past experience administering a check-off (they have administered the existing Alberta barley check-off since 1991) and its ability to complete the required tasks as identified in the Canada Grain Act and the transitional Regulations.
The check-off will apply to wheat and barley grown in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Peace River District of British Columbia to remain consistent with the operational area previously covered by the CWB. The deduction will be applied to all wheat and barley sales where a cash purchase ticket was issued in order to allow for simple implementation and processing and follow the amendments included in the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act.
Barley produced in Alberta was exempted under the previous CWB research deduction for the WGRF as there was already a deduction set up in Alberta that contributed to research. Therefore, barley produced in Alberta will be an exception from the research portion of the transitional barley check-off. The collection area mirrors the funding collection area of the CWB.
Producers are able to request a refund once per crop year. Informal discussions with stakeholders suggest support for this approach and it provides the most streamlined option for industry to follow. It is also similar to how the previous CWB research check-off and other refundable commodity check-offs work. Additionally, it allows producers a choice of whether to participate in research, market development and technical assistance funding. Historically, the average percentage of producers requesting to opt out of the CWB research check-off for the WGRF is approximately 5%. With the deduction for market development and technical assistance now upfront and more visible to producers, the percentage of producers requesting a refund may increase.
The goal of the transitional check-off is to establish a producer funding level similar to the current level of producer funding for wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance for up to five years, thus allowing the industry time to establish a long-term funding model. A deduction of $0.48 per tonne for wheat and $0.56 per tonne for barley recreates current rates collected through the CWB for research and funds provided by CWB for market development and technical assistance.
There is no cost to government in implementing the Regulations other than enforcement costs to the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC), which are expected to be minimal.
9. Implementation and enforcement
The Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance(Wheat and Barley) will be in effect for the 2012–13 crop year. Starting on August 1, 2012, licensed delivery points (e.g. grain elevators) will collect the wheat and barley transitional check-off. Upon delivery, the necessary deductions from the producer payments for wheat and barley will be made and documented on individual producer cash purchase tickets. The deducted funds will be submitted to the ABC on a monthly basis. The ABC will disburse the funds for purposes of research, market development, technical assistance and administrative costs as per the Act.
Producers are able to request refunds in writing from the ABC. Producers must request a refund by the end of the crop year, July 31. The prescribed agency (i.e. ABC) must remit the refunds within 60 days from the end of that same crop year. Previously, producers wrote to the WGRF to opt out of the research deduction administered by the CWB but did not have the option of opting out or requesting a refund on the previous market development and technical assistance funding supported directly by the CWB.
The regulations for the deduction fall under section 83.2 of the Canada Grain Act. Monitoring and enforcement of these Regulations will follow procedures established by the CGC. To have the authority to issue a cash purchase ticket, the grain dealer/elevator must be licensed through the CGC. Licensed grain elevators must meet a number of requirements in order to gain and maintain their licensed status. One of the requirements is that licensed grain elevators must provide detailed reports to the CGC documenting the type of grain and amount delivered to each of the licensed elevator’s delivery points. These detailed reports assist the CGC in enforcing the Canada Grain Act, including the transitional wheat and barley check-off.
Additionally, when the licensed grain elevator submits the check-off funds to the prescribed agency, they will provide a report showing the amount of wheat and barley delivered and the amount of check-off deducted from each producer. This report will assist in the refund process by identifying the refund amount as well as providing a verification point, ensuring the correct amount of check-off is being deducted and submitted by the licensed grain elevators.
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will receive annual reports from the ABC on the amount of check-off funds received and how the funds were invested into wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance activities. The report will also include a breakdown of administrative costs associated with administering the wheat and barley check-off. The intent is to release information to the public to show how the check-off funds are invested and used.
All of these reports provide reference figures and basis points for a risk-based approach for auditing the check-off from point of deduction to investment in research, market development and technical assistance. The reports will help identify possible discrepancies and trigger mechanisms to identify when and where further investigation is needed. The Government will direct the audits as required. The Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the CGC and the ABC will all work together to monitor and enforce this check-off.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and ABC will be providing communications regarding the transition to marketing freedom including information on the wheat and barley research, market development and technical assistance deduction.
Crop Sector Policy Division
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
303 Main Street
S.C. 2011, c. 25, s. 27
R.S., c. G-10
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