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In April 2017, the Alberta government announced that it would support Alberta agricultural Commissions by giving producers more autonomy to choose which service charge model would work best for their industry.

In September 2017, the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act was amended to give producers of agricultural Commissions the ability to choose their preferred service charge model -refundable or non-refundable. Service charges are collected when an agricultural product is sold, or it is a base charge to each member of a Commission. These service charges enable a Commission to fund operational activities (research, promotion, education, etc.) and undertake initiatives that would benefit its industry.

The first step in the process of determining if a service charge model should change from refundable to non-refundable is for a Commission to request that the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council (Marketing Council) conduct a plebiscite (a vote of producer membership). The Marketing of Agricultural Products Act establishes the regulation making authority for plebiscites - approval from the Lieutenant Governor in Council is required for Marketing Council to develop a plebiscite regulation with approval of the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry that guides and directs the specific voting procedure. More information about the various steps in the decision-making process can be found in this attached document.

In the fall of 2018, Marketing Council, by way of regulations, will be conducting plebiscites for two agricultural Commissions - the Alberta Beef Producers and the Potato Growers of Alberta. These plebiscites will gauge the perspective of producers on whether the Commission’s service charge model should be:

- Refundable – a full or partial refund would be returned to producers at their request; or,

- Non-refundable – service charges would remain with the Commission without the ability for producers to

request a refund.


Ag-Info Centre: 310-FARM (3276)

Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council: 780-427-2164

Returning Officer:

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Janelle Hancock.
This document is maintained by Sue Dober.
This information published to the web on September 25, 2018.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 10, 2018.