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VFO partners with Cdn. check-off agency

VFO partners with Cdn. check-off agency

The partnership will allow the provincial veal association to satisfy its federal levy requirements and improve veal marketing initiatives 

By Jackie Clark
Staff Writer

The Veal Farmers of Ontario (VFO) and the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency have entered into a partnership to manage veal licencing fees and collaborate on marketing initiatives.

“I think it’s going to be a great partnership,” Jennifer Haley, executive director of VFO, told

In most other provinces, provincial beef and veal organizations are combined, so when VFO and Beef Farmers of Ontario separated in 2015, alternative structures needed to be organized.

“When VFO became separate, we had to then structure these agreements because the federal levy requires anyone who collects check-off on cattle to be part of that system, so we have been working with the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency to get that in place,” Haley explained.

“VFO believes that it’s important that we do our part, our corporate responsibility to maintain and protect the national import levy system and the national check-off system,” she added.

For producers, there will be no change in licence fee rates on the veal that they sell.

Logistically, the partnership means that $1.00 from the $5.50 per head licence fee is remitted to the national organization, “and then we will be receiving back a large portion of that, still to be determined, for our programming here in Ontario,” Haley said.

Also, similar to the beef sector, licence fees from Ontario veal calves sold in other provinces will be remitted to the national organization and then passed back down to VFO (and visa versa for veal calves from other provinces that are sold in Ontario).

The agreement allows VFO to leverage some marketing proficiency through the Canada Beef marketing organization’s resources and expertise. Canada Beef is funded through the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency.

“With this agreement we now have a seat on the Canada Beef marketing committee, which is going to be awesome, because our marketing strategy for driving demand is going to be both Ontario veal provincially, but also Canadian veal – domestic and export,” Haley said.  

Additionally, the Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency can help VFO with the compliance and auditing of licence fees, she added.

The partnership should benefit veal farmers in Ontario.

“I think for veal producers, what they’re going to see in the future is greater collaboration within the cattle sector,” Haley said.

“It certainly doesn’t mean that all veal is going to be marketed as beef and vice versa; we’re still going to have a distinct presence for veal and a distinct presence for beef. But we’re going to be collaborating on how best to do that, which then ripples into other issues in the cattle industry that we then can be working together better on,” she explained.

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