What is a Research and Promotion Check-off program? - Organic Trade Association
Organic Trade Association
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What is a Research and Promotion Check-off program?


Federal Research and Promotion Programs are industry-funded generic research and marketing programs designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for the industry's agricultural commodities, thereby increasing the potential long-term economic growth of all sectors of that industry. An Organic Research and Promotion Program is not a funding vehicle for OTA. A distinct board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture would govern the program.

  • Research and Promotion programs are funded by industry, administered by USDA's-Agriculture and Marketing Service, and Governed by a board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.

  • Research and Promotion programs engage in activities like: advertising, market research, and research into consumer benefits delivered by the commodity.
    • Web, print, radio, television advertising creative development, consumer research and ebuys's
    • Research on benefits such as (Eggs and cholesterol)
  • Currently, 18 research and promotion programs are in place including beef, eggs, fluid milk processors, Hass avocados, mushrooms, pork, potatoes, soybeans, and watermelons for example.
  • The parameters of the programs are set by the industry. Contribution rates vary throughout the different programs, but they are always based on a percentage of net sales or assessed at a set rate per production unit.
    • For example: Fluid milk processors pay a 20 cents per hundredweight assessment. The Milk Processor Education Program uses the funds to carry out marketing, promotion and research. (GOT MILK!)

  • The industry sets the exemption level below which operations are not required to pay-in.
  • A Research and Promotion Program is not the same as a Marketing Order. Marketing Orders have a much broader scope of activity including price, quality, etc. OTA has determined that a Research and Promotion Program would best serve the industry's need.
2014 Annual Fund

Research and Promotion 2012