Ontario’s goat producers will be voting from Feb. 27 to March 10 on a proposal to create a producer association under the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Act.
The designation would allow Ontario Goat to collect a mandatory licence fee of $0.005 per litre of goat milk marketed from licensed goat farms.
The $0.005 is the same as the voluntary checkoff currently in place that funds Ontario Goat.
There is no intention to collect a mandatory fee from non-licensed goat milk, goat meat and goat fibre producers at this point, although they can still belong to the organization under a voluntary membership structure.
Ontario is the largest goat milk-producing jurisdiction in North America, producing a third of the goat milk on the continent. It is one of the fastest-growing agriculture sectors in Ontario and produces 79 per cent of the goat milk in Canada.
Large dairy processors have moved into Ontario goat milk processing over the past several years, creating more long-term stability.
“In all our consultations, it is clear that everyone in the industry agrees we must have a representative organization with a permanent governance and funding structure in place before we can move forward on any other objective or priority,” said OG president Anton Slingerland.
In 2012, a more ambitious plan by Ontario Goat to attain marketing board status and charge a higher checkoff fee on both milk and meat failed in a producer vote.