Alberta's wheat and oat producers now have commissions established under the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act. The commissions can now collect refundable checkoffs to fund research, marketing and promotion. They began operations on Aug. 1.
The Alberta Wheat Commission will represent the interests of 11,000 wheat producers of all seven classes of wheat grown in Alberta, and is the first all-wheat commission in Canada.
The commission’s revenue will be generated by a mandatory but refundable checkoff of $0.70/tonne on commercial wheat sales in Alberta. The estimated $3.5 million annual revenue raised through the service charge will fund research, market development activities, policy and advocacy initiatives, as well as educational opportunities.
Operations officially began on Aug. 1 under an interim appointed board until director elections can be held this fall in each of the commission’s five regions.
An interim board will also lead the new Alberta Oat Growers Commission until direction elections expected to be complete by spring 2013.
A refundable service charge of $0.50/tonne for oats, raising an estimated $140,000 per year, will allow the commission to fund oat research, market development and advocacy initiatives for oat-related issues.
It is expected that the newly formed Alberta Oat Growers Commission will join the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA), which had successfully organized oat grower associations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.