APC Producers’ Committees bring producers together as a united body, involved in more than just the production of a commodity, it allows them to identify and focus on areas of particular interest or need, and to provide services aimed at improving the prosperity and development of their businesses.
The Committee, made up of producers, is the voice 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 industry and to develop a strategic plan which can take the industry forward. Be involved and contact your chairman if you feel there is something that needs to be done, if you have an idea that can help the industry or if you would like to take the opportunity to become involved.
How does an APC Producers’ Committee operate?
Committees take a leadership position on behalf of their producers and take their role very seriously. Each year they assess the needs of producers and estimate the annual costs for providing identified services to producers. A strong strategic plan, built through consultation with Fee for Service paying producers is used to provide focus and direction. This cost is translated into a
"Fee for Service" 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 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 used/considered. When approved by the Minister the Fee for Service 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 used for initiatives of that Committee. The Commission does not allow cross-subsidisation of one Committee by another.
Services which an APC Producers’ Committee can provide
Section 12.1 of the Act defines the Functions which a Committee can provide. The Committee votes at their establishment poll on which services they would like to have included in their abilities, with not all Committees providing all of the available services.
Functions/services which can be provided are:
Subject to any direction given by the Commission and to this section a producers’ committee may provide any one or more of the following services as are prescribed in relation to the agricultural produce in relation to which it is established:
- advertise and promote the agricultural produce;
- control or develop the means of controlling pests and diseases if there is a likelihood of those pests or diseases affecting the quality or volume of output of the agricultural produce;
- conduct research in relation to any matter, if in the opinion of the producers’ committee that research is of advantage to producers of the agricultural produce;
- conduct educational or instructional programmes relating to the production of agricultural produce;
- develop and expand markets for the agricultural produce in Western Australia and elsewhere;
- establish a voluntary insurance scheme for the benefit of producers of the agricultural produce including insurance relating to crops;
- undertake and provide market forecasting for the agricultural produce;
- establish systems of inspection for the agricultural produce for the purpose of quality control or pest and disease control;
- formulate schemes for declaring producers of the agricultural produce to be accredited producers;
- establish systems to facilitate inspection of grading, packaging and storage of the agricultural produce including weight and uniformity (including uniformity of ripeness) within packages;
- support, with or without grant of financial aid, and whether or not initiated by the committee or the Commission, any scheme or activity which in the committee’s opinion is capable of assisting in the promotion or sale of the agricultural produce;
- provide such other services for the agricultural produce as may be prescribed;
- establish a compensation scheme for the benefit of producers whose agricultural produce is destroyed as a result of action taken to control a pest or disease of that produce;
- arrange for the provision of all or any of the services or the exercise of any of the functions referred to in paragraphs (a) to (la) in whole or in part by another person or organization or in conjunction with the Commission or any other person or organization.
The APC currently has ten active Committees, servicing some 8,000 WA producers. Each Producers’ Committee provides differing services to their Fee for Service paying producers.