Schafer Names Members to Popcorn Promotion Board [January 14, 2009, News Release
Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order; Reapportionment. Docket Number: AMS-FV-10-0010. EFFECTIVE: June, 4 2010. [Proposed Rule
Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order; Section 610 Review. Docket Number: AMS-FV-07-0022; FV-06-706. [Notice
The Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Act) [7 U.S.C. 7481-7491] was signed into law on April 4, 1996. The Act authorizes the Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Order) [7 CFR Part 1215]. After notice and comment rulemaking on a proposal submitted by the Popcorn Institute, USDA conducted a referendum to determine if popcorn processors favored implementation of the program. In the referendum, which was held from April 15 through 30, 1997, 92 percent of the processors voting favored implementing the Order and those processors represented 95 percent of the popcorn processed by voters in the referendum. The Order became effective in September 1997, assessment obligations began in January 1998, and the Popcorn Board (Board) held its organizational meeting in April 1998.
On November a final rule was published in the Federal Register reducing the membership of the Board from nine to five members to reflect the consolidation of the popcorn industry and therefore fewer popcorn processors in the industry. This change was proposed by the board by a vote on October 5, 2009 in accordance with provisions of the Popcorn Promotion, research and Consumer Information Act and Order. A proposed rule was published on June 4, 2010 with a 30-day comment period which ended on July 6, 2010. In response to the proposed rule the Department received one comment in support of the proposed amendment.
The Board administers the Order under AMS supervision. The Board collects assessments from processors of over 4 million pounds of popcorn per year, regardless of the country of origin of the popcorn. The assessment rate is 6 cents per hundredweight. The rate may be lowered or raised but may not exceed 8 cents per hundredweight. The funds collected are used for generic promotion, consumer information, market and related research, designed to strengthen popcorn's position in the marketplace and to maintain, develop, and expand markets for popcorn.
The Board’s budget for 2012 is $993,184. The Board expects to receive $539,800 in assessments and an estimated $392,464 from the Foreign Agricultural Service.
The Board reimburses the federal government for expenses incurred in administering the program. The Act limits USDA user fees to 15 percent of the Board's annual projected revenue. AMS is required to notify the House and Senate agriculture committees when the user fee reaches 10 percent of the Board’s annual projected revenues.
The Board consists of five at-large processors who each process at least 4 million pounds of popcorn annually.
The Board utilizes a management firm in Chicago, Illinois to administer its program.