Check-off Programs generate the funding that enables an industry to provide a coordinated and continuous process of research, education, and promotion. They are funded by a fair and equitable assessment on all products produced within an industry. The assessments are collected at the point of sale.
Because all producers within the industry contribute to the program equally, check-offs reduce the inequity associated with free-riders that do not contribute equally in voluntary programs. Also, the participation of all producers ensures a broader funding base, lowering the costs for all involved.
Check-offs also have lasting power. Once enacted, check-offs can be terminated by the industry that creates it, but only through a referendum. Thus, sustained funding over multiple years enables industries to tackle larger programs that have greater potential for market impact.