The Agricultural Produce Commission Act 1988 (the Act) provides Western Australian agricultural producers with the legal framework to collect funds to provide for the development and security of growers and producers and their industry sectors.
What agricultural produce is covered by the APC?
APC producers' committees can be established for horticultural and other agricultural industries - except the broadacre cropping and grazing industries. Horticultural industries can include; wine, fruit, vegetables, juices, nuts, turf and flowers. The Act provides the ability for an agricultural industry to be prescribed - and thereby able to establish APC producers’ committees. In this way producers' committee have also been established for the pork, egg and beekeeping industries.
APC Committee services include:
- Establishing compensation schemes
- Assisting in developing systems for quality control or pest and disease control
- Establishing inspection systems for grading, packaging and storage of agricultural produce
- Formulating schemes for helping producers gain accreditation
- Establishing voluntary crop insurance schemes
- Providing/developing educational programs
- Undertaking research
- Developing and expanding new markets
- Undertaking market forecasting
The Committee, made up of producers, must be representative of all producers –if you are a Fee for Service paying producer then you have a say in what your Committee does. The Committee brings all producers together to work towards a unified healthy industry which ultimately provides a sustainable living for producers. Be involved and contact your chairman if you feel there is something that needs to be done, if you have an idea that you believe can make a difference or if you would like to take the opportunity to become involved.
How does an APC Producers’ Committee operate?
Committees take a leadership view of their industries and take their role very seriously. Each year they assess the needs of the industry and estimate the annual costs for providing identified services to producers. This cost is translated into a "Fee for Service" charge which all WA producers of that produce pay. The services that can be provided by an APC Committee are listed under Section 12.1 of the Act and producers vote for the provision of some or all of the services at the committee establishment poll. The setting of a Fee for Service charge must be approved by the Minister for Agriculture.
The collection of Fee for Service is normally through dealers, such as; market agents, wholesalers, exporters or retailers, although other collection methods that are more appropriate to particular industry sectors may be considered. When approved by the Minister the Fee for Service charge is compulsory, this ensures that just as the benefits received by the producers are shared so is the cost.
The funds of each Committee are kept separately, and funds raised by a Committee are solely for the activities of that committee.