AMS No. 116-12
Gwen Sparks, (202) 260-8210
WASHINGTON, May 4, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced that the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research and Information Order, requested by a majority of the nation’s raspberry growers and importers, will take effect May 9. It will be published in the Federal Register on May 8.
In a recent referendum conducted by AMS, 88 percent of those voting favored implementing a national processed raspberry research and promotion program. Voting eligibility was limited to producers of 20,000 or more pounds of raspberries for processing in 2010 and importers of 20,000 or more pounds of processed raspberries in 2010. The new program will be administered under AMS supervision by a 13-member council and its alternates. The council, which will be responsible for carrying out activities that help expand, maintain and develop markets for processed raspberries in the United States and abroad, will include:
• Six producers from states producing at least three million pounds of raspberries for processing;
• One producer member from all other states producing less than three million pounds of raspberries for processing;
• Three importers;
• Two foreign producers; and
• One at-large member.
In the coming months, AMS will provide nomination information to eligible voters and conduct outreach to solicit nominees to serve on the council. Two nominees will be considered for each council position. Members will be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The program will be funded by a mandatory assessment of one cent per pound on producers of raspberries for processing as well as importers of processed raspberries. Assessments will be remitted to the Processed Raspberry Council. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection or the board will collect assessments from importers. Producers of less than 20,000 pounds per year of raspberries for processing and importers of less than 20,000 pounds per year of processed raspberries will be exempt. Collection of assessments will begin 120 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Research and Promotion Programs are industry-funded, authorized by Congress and have been in existence since 1966. They empower farmers and ranchers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides an oversight and audit function, paid for by the industry assessments, which ensures fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders. AMS recently announced additional internal oversight measures and a new policy on referendums to further improve the administration of Research and Promotion Programs. Visit www.ams.usda.gov/FVPromotion
to learn more about these measures and research and promotion programs in general. For questions or additional information contact Kimberly Coy at Kimberly.Coy@ams.usda.gov
or (888) 720-9917.
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