WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is conducting a referendum on a proposed amendment to the Cranberry Marketing Committee from Oct. 29 to Nov. 19. It would authorize the committee to accept financial contributions from domestic sources to help fund research and development activities for cranberries grown in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and Long Island in New York.
To pass, the proposed amendment must be approved by two-thirds of producers or by producers representing at least two-thirds of the cranberry volume represented in referendum voting. The proposed amendment must also be approved by processors who have frozen or canned more than 50 percent of the volume of cranberries within the production area.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service mailed ballots and instructions to all producers and processors of record in the marketing order. To vote, producers and processors must have handled cranberries grown in the regulated area between Sept. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2017. Those who didn’t receive a ballot may request one.
Eligible producers and processors who did not received a ballot by Oct. 29 may request one by calling 863-324–3375, faxing 863-291–8614 or mailing the request to Southeast Florida Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1124 1st St. South, Winter Haven, Fla., 33880.
Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register Sept. 14.
Information about the marketing order is available on the AMS website at 929 Cranberries.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
— USDA Agricultural Marketing Service