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The latest independent analysis of the economic benefits from the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off validates investments made under Canada Beef’s strategic business plan and provides transparency and accountability back to producers.

The March 2022 evaluation of check-off investments found that on a five-year average from 2015-2021, domestic marketing (including the import levy) resulted in a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of $15.4. The Evaluating the Benefits of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off study found BCR’s for export market promotion expenditures across all categories of marketing have had far greater benefits than costs. While this is the third evaluation of the check-off, the 2022 study is first to estimate BCRs for export development marketing in the methodology.

Canada’s beef cattle check-off benefit cost ratio is $13 for every dollar invested in marketing, research and promotion (13:1). Had there been no Canadian check-off funded domestic marketing activities, domestic beef demand would have been 9.1% lower than it actually was, the study found.

Authored by Dr. Alan Ker from the University of Guelph Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, the 2022 study encompassed several structural changes in the industry since the last study in 2014. As well, changes were made to the methodology used in the Rude (2011/12 to 2013/14) and Cranfield (2005 and 2008) studies respectively.

Canadian Beef Check-Off Agency (Agency) General Manager, Melinda German, announced the study results at the Agency’s annual general meeting on August 16, ahead of the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Penticton, B.C.

The study reports that on a five-year average from 2015-2021, national research, marketing and promotion activities resulted in the following benefit-cost ratios (BCR):
  • Domestic Marketing (including the import levy) had a BCR of $15.4, compared to $17 and $8 in the Rude and Cranfield studies respectively.
  • Research had a BCR of $63.2, compared to $34.5 and $46 in the Rude and Cranfield studies respectively. Historical studies only evaluated carcass weight, while this study added more indicators. The study noted the very large confidence intervals for the estimated BCRs indicate that the benefits from research expenditures are not statistically higher than benefits from marketing expenditures.
  • Public and Stakeholder Engagement had a BCR of $16, no comparisons are available.
Aggregating across marketing and research categories, the overall BCR is 33:1. This compares to 14:1 found by Rude and 9:1 found by Cranfield. The author attributed the large increase to the inclusion of benefits (i.e. survival rate, reproductive efficiency, and tame hay yields) from research expenditures that were excluded in the previous studies. The study noted that had these benefits been excluded in the current study, an overall BCR of 13:1 would result. This is lower than the Rude study at 14:1, as expected given the increase in investment with the check-off moving from $1/head to $2.50/head, the study said.

The Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off provides industry funding for Canada Beef, tasked with market development and promotion in domestic and international markets; the Beef Cattle Research Council, responsible for the industry’s national research and extension program, and Public and Stakeholder Engagement, which works to manage issues and build public trust in Canadian beef cattle production.

The study excluded the analysis of provincial investment. There was insufficient data for a veal analysis.
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