AMS No. 093-08
Jimmie Turner (202) 720-8998
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
WASHINGTON, May 6, 2008 -- First handlers and importers of honey and honey products have voted to approve a new national honey packers and importers program. The vote was taken in a referendum conducted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) from April 2-16.
In the referendum, 78 percent of those who voted -- representing 92 percent of the voted volume of honey and honey products -- favored implementation of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (new program). Any current first handler or importer who handled or imported 250,000 or more pounds of honey or honey products during calendar year January through December 2007 was eligible to vote.
With the approval of the new program, the collection of assessments under the existing Honey Research, Promotion and Consumer Information Order -- authorized under the Honey Research, Promotion and Consumer Information Act -- will be suspended. The remaining provisions of the current order and regulations issued will be terminated at a later date.
The new program will be administered, under AMS supervision, by a 10-member board consisting of three first handlers, two importers, one importer-handler, one national honey marketing cooperative representative and three producers and their alternates.
The program will be funded by an assessment of one cent per pound levied on first handlers and importers of honey and honey products. The order is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996.
Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad.
AMS will begin the nomination process once the order becomes effective. For more information, contact Kathie Notoro at (202) 720-9915 or e-mail Kathie.Notoro@usda.gov