Marketing Board Diversion
One proposal was to simply request 2 to 4% of marketing board fees, as the organic sector makes up approximately 2% of the sector and is growing.
- Legal feasibility low: This proposal would require marketing board support and there is no legal precedent.
- Fairness low: Organic membership in marketing boards is low; the percentage may not reflect actual membership and it is not fair across products.
Accredited Farm Organization Fee
One proposal was to create a new general farm organization (e.g. OFA, CFFO, NFU) or to receive a percentage of current Accredited Farm Organization fees.
- Low feasibility: Accredited Farm Organizations require a chapter structure and a minimum number of local members. There are not enough organic producers.
- Revenue estimates low: Revenue estimates predicted $162,240.00.
- Fairness questionable: The flat fee structure of farm organizations means that smaller scale enterprises pay a higher proportion of their sales. It also does not capture other value chain stakeholders.
Percentage of Certification Fees
One proposal was to collect a percentage of certification fees similar to CARTV in Quebec and COABC in BC.
- Revenue Estimates low: Revenue estimates predicted $361,340.00.
- Fairness low: Again, certification fees are not based on production volume and therefore unduly burden smaller-scale enterprises. The fees collected by CARTV are for accreditation and require additional oversight of certifying bodies.
Additional Fee System
One proposal suggested that organic businesses should simply pay an additional small fee as is done in Quebec by organic grain growers.
- Popularity low: There was less enthusiasm among sector stakeholders for this option. However, some commodity groups are more willing to pay additional fees than others.
- Legal feasibility questionable: There is no legal precedent through the Farm Products Marketing Commission, but this could be possible through new legislation.
One proposal suggested that we add an organic fee at point of sale.
- Legal feasibility questionable: There is no legal precedent. This would have to undergo rigorous testing to ensure that it would not be considered a tax.
- Only possible at the national level: Since retail captures imports, this would only be legally feasible if a national check-off were created.
Whole Value Chain Pays
The ultimate goal of our proposal is to have everyone contribute. However, we wanted to start with the most popular proposal and lowest hanging fruit. In our current proposal, processors and handlers can voluntarily contribute, but a mandatory fee may be required once a national plan is in place.
- Fairness low: Most processors compete nationally and would be at a competitive disadvantage if a fee were applied in Ontario alone. Farmers who don't currently pay commodity fees would be at a disadvantage when compared to their non-certified peers.