WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will conduct a referendum among cranberry producers June 9-30, 2023, to determine their level of support for continuing the federal marketing order regulating the handling of cranberries grown in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington, and Long Island, New York.
The marketing order requires a continuance referendum be held every four years during the month of May. To be eligible to vote, producers must have produced cranberries within the designated production area during the period of Sept. 1, 2021, through Aug. 31, 2022.
USDA would consider terminating the order if a majority of voting producers, representing more than 50% of the volume of cranberries represented in the referendum, favor termination of the program. Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on May 25, 2023.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all growers of record. Growers will also have the option to vote by electronic ballot. Eligible growers who do not receive a ballot by June 9, 2023, should contact Jennie Varela at Jennie.Varela@usda.gov or by phone at (863) 324-3375. Requests for a ballot may also be faxed to (863) 291-8614 or mailed to USDA, AMS, 1124 First Street South, Winter Haven, FL 33880.
More information about the marketing order is available on the AMS 929 Cranberry Marketing Committee webpage, the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage, or by contacting the Market Development Division at (202) 720-8085.
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. AMS provides oversight to 28 fruit vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.