What is a promotion and research agency?
- A promotion and research agency (PRA) is established under Part III of the Farm Products Agencies Act (FPAA) to collect levies and to coordinate a national promotion and research strategy for one or more farm products.
- A PRA enables a strong, efficient and competitive industry by promoting one or more specific farm products and research activities related to the products.
- A PRA represents the interests of the producers and importers of the farm products it promotes.
- Decisions are made by the PRA Board of Directors, which consists primarily of producers and, if the PRA has the power to collect levies on imports, importers.
- All aspects governing the operation of the PRA are determined by the signatories to the proclamation establishing the PRA.
What are the benefits of a PRA?
- A PRA coordinates national promotion and research efforts, while allowing provincial organizations some flexibility to achieve regional objectives.
- A PRA represents the interests of industry stakeholders for products promoted on the national and international stage.
- A PRA benefits consumers by providing research and educational programs with regard to the promoted products.
- A PRA enables stakeholders to participate in marketing a given product by channelling available resources and offering the opportunity to develop a common approach.
- A PRA can encourage the improvement of production processes, the design of new products, and investment in research and development.
- Through the pooling of national resources and contributions from importers, a PRA can potentially facilitate the multiplier effect of government contributions that require a contribution from the beneficiary organization.
What are the powers of a PRA?
- The powers of the PRA are set out in the proclamation establishing the PRA and are granted under Part III of the FPAA.
- A PRA can implement a promotion and research plan and make any orders and regulations necessary for its implementation.
- A PRA can undertake and assist in the promotion of the consumption of the products it promotes, as well as the improvement of the quality and variety of the products.
- A PRA can obtain authority to collect a levy on national production and on imports of regulated products.
- A PRA can establish branches or employ agents or mandataries in Canada or elsewhere.
- A PRA can take any measures set out in the FPAA or in its proclamation as are necessary to achieve its goals.
How is a PRA established?
- The procedure for submitting a request to establish a PRA is not outlined in the FPAA. However, the Farm Products Council of Canada (FPCC) recommends certain steps that should be taken. A consultant may be hired to facilitate the process.
- Consultation of producers, importers, and the provincial and national organizations that represent those groups can foster greater understanding of the ins and outs of the process. The consultation may also help build a base of producers and importers who support the approval of a potential request to establish a PRA.
- Provincial marketing agencies must be involved in the consultations, because the levy mechanism for the targeted products will unquestionably require their participation.
- To obtain the support of producers and (if applicable) importers, the organization submitting the request must prepare a proposal on which the stakeholders will make a decision. The proposal must describe how the PRA would operate, as well as its potential powers, such as suggested levies, the composition of the board of directors, a preliminary budget, and suggested promotion and research activities.
- Once support has been obtained, the request to establish a PRA must be submitted to the FPCC. After the request is received, public hearings will be held by a panel of FPCC members appointed to assess the feasibility of establishing the proposed PRA.
- Following the public hearings, the FPCC will make a recommendation to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. The Minister will then decide whether or not to recommend the establishment of the PRA to the Governor in Council.