Positioning the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry through Education, Research and Promotion


What is a check-off program?

It’s a mechanism, conceived over 20 years ago, to facilitate the collection of funds by and for any organized group of American commodity producers who wish to use their funds to promote their generic products.

What are check-off programs used for?

They are typically used to further a group’s common interests by facilitating the funding necessary to expand market demand for their commodity products – usually through marketing promotions, academic research and public education. Check-off funds can not be used for any advocacy activities involving the government, such as lobbying.

How can a check-off program help ready mixed concrete producers?

The dues currently paid to RMC industry associations are being used to fund multiple activities, diluting producers’ promotional efforts and weakening our ability to effectively generate demand for ready mixed concrete in a highly competitive national marketplace.

What can a small, local producer expect to get from a check-off program?

Even small producers will see a return on their investment because at least 45% of all check-off funds will go back to state, area and local associations for local promotional efforts while another 45% will be invested in national marketing promotions, academic research and public education that will benefit producers of all sizes.

Does the RMC industry really need to invest in a check-off program?

Yes! Competitive groups, such as the soft wood producers, are quickly moving forward with their own check-off program, which could become a major threat to the ready mixed concrete industry by driving down our market share. The Softwood Lumber Board estimates that it will spend $18 million on promotion in 2015.

What’s more, as concrete becomes more competitive than steel as a building material for residential applications, the ready mixed concrete industry must become more aggressive at “telling our story”, promoting key competitive advantages and leveraging new product research – such as results from recent MIT studies – to showcase new applications.

Exactly how is a check-off program funded?

The point of using a check-off program is to facilitate funding that is fair and equitable to everyone. If approved in the industry referendum, every ready mixed concrete producer in the U.S. will be required to pay 15 cents per cubic yard of production to fund the programs and projects of the Check-Off Board.

How much will this check-off program cost each of us producers?

We believe that a per-producer assessment of 15 cents per cubic yard will adequately fund our program.

How will the check-off funds be used?

A cap of 10% of our total assessment funds will be used to fund the administrative functions of the Check-Off Board. These expenses include, repayment to costs to the managing agency, professional staff and services, communications and standard business expenses.

At least 45% of our RMC Check-Off program's funds will be dedicated to state, area and local association promotion, education and research efforts.

The remaining 45% of our RMC Check-Off program funds will be used to:

  1. Reward and repeat the most productive efforts of state, area and local associations that have proven their success to the board.
  2. Fund national marketing promotions that measurably increase demand for ready mixed concrete.
  3. Fund research on ready mixed concrete to enhance our competitive advantages.
  4. Fund targeted educational programs that influence key decision makers and industry personnel.

Since assessment and funding decisions are made by RMC producers, the actual rate and funding breakdown will reflect whatever the majority of our producers choose.

Isn’t this just a government tax on the RMC industry?

Absolutely not!

This is a self-assessment that is defined by RMC producers, agreed to by RMC producers and paid by RMC producers into a fund that is controlled by RMC producers.

How much government involvement will there be in this program?

Historically there has been minimal government involvement once a check-off program has been established. Their primary concern is that check-off funds are used exclusively for administering our check-off program and promoting our commodity products.

Beyond that, the Commerce Department will routinely approve our Board of Directors’ budget, business plans, programs and contracts. They also monitor every national check-off group’s promotional messaging claims to ensure accuracy.

When does our check-off program become active?

Once we have generated sufficient support within the RMC industry, we will secure a congressional sponsor and introduce our legislation (you can read the entire bill here) in Congress.

After the bill passes, the Department of Commerce will draft an “order” and “regulations regarding referendum” that formalize the ground rules we producers have defined and then set up a referendum which will enable all RMC producers nationwide to cast their vote on whether or not we will establish a check-off program.