The New CSF Fee- What and Why?

Well folks, it is time to talk budgets and self-sufficiency. As much as we don’t like these subjects, there comes a time to bite the bullet. The Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) has been going through a renewal process for the last two years that I have been your director on the national board. This is a tough process as many of the solutions require dollars to resolve them. Unfortunately, trying to appease the nature of all frugal farmers, we have trimmed our national budget to the point where there is no longer a contingency fund that would allow us to deal with issues immediately or even to be successful in our lobbying efforts as we cannot afford to send representatives to Ottawa on a regular basis.

We had to create a budget that would put us back on more stable financial footing. There is no point in approaching the government for funding for our organization, because to be successful in our lobbying efforts we need to remain independent so that we are not seen to be “biting the hand that feeds”. It is essential that we gain this independence in order to have a stronger voice at the table when negotiating with government. At the moment, we often feel pressure to be acquiescent to governments wants and needs without really saying what we need to.

The board of CSF is also looking into being able to create a situation where there is a national check-off so that we could effectively charge an equal amount on all imports of lamb to CANADA. This would also put more money into the CSF coffers and would mean that we wouldn’t have to increase the amount paid by producers here to run the organization. So, the board of SPANS, being unable to increase our dues to the CSF through the current provincial check-off, passed a motion that would see the CSF dues being paid by a Tag Fee being applied at point of sale for the CSIP tags as has always been the case for the SPANS Check-off. The CSF Tag Fee will be 25 cents per tag purchased.

This tag fee is voluntary from the standpoint that after you have paid your CSF Tag Fee you may request a refund from the CSF. SPANS motion agreed to the fact that this tag fee would be applied as of January 1st, 2013. So don’t be surprised when you get your bill for tags and there is a new line item that includes the CSF Tag Fee.

Attached is a graph that will show what you would pay if you produce 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 or more lambs. As you can see, it is a very small amount. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact myself, Cathy Vallis as your CSF director, or any member of the board of SPANS, or Brad McCallum our Executive Director at SPANS.

Wishing you all the best for this holiday season, see you at the AGM in January.

Cathy Vallis

CSF Director for SPANS