Beef Imports Could be Hit with Additional Assessment Under USDA Plan
The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service is inviting public comments through Dec. 10 on provisions that would be included in an industry-funded promotion, research and information program for beef and beef products under the Commodity Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1996.
The proposed order would be in addition to the existing beef promotion and research program established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (commonly called the beef checkoff program), which is designed to strengthen the position of beef in the marketplace and to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets and uses for beef and beef products. The beef checkoff program is funded by a mandatory assessment of $1 per head collected each time cattle are sold, and a comparable assessment is collected on all imported cattle, beef and beef products.
The program under consideration aims to increase funding for beef promotion and research and help the beef industry address issues such as exports, beef demand, nutrition and consumer information. Assessments collected under the new program would be handled under separate authority, and projects and funding would be determined by provisions established under the new order. Among the topics on which AMS is seeking input are whether the assessment rate should be a specified amount, a percent of value or an amount determined by the board and whether there should be a de minimis exemption from assessments for certain size operations or classes of cattle or beef.