The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that U.S. manufacturers and importers of paper and paper-based packaging voted to continue their federal research and promotion program. Industry representatives voted in a referendum held Oct. 12-23, 2020, by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).
In the referendum, 64% of manufacturers and importers voting, who represented 76% of the volume of paper and paper-based packaging voting in the referendum, were in favor of continuing the program. For the program to continue, a majority of manufacturers and importers voting in the referendum, which also represent a majority of the volume of paper and paper-based packaging represented, had to vote in favor of continuance.
To participate in the referendum, manufacturers and importers must have domestically manufactured or imported 100,000 short tons or more of paper and paper-based packaging from Jan.1 through Dec. 31, 2019.
The order establishing the program requires USDA to conduct a referendum seven years after it took effect to determine whether the industry was in favor of continuing the program. For the program to continue, manufacturers and importers had to approve the program by a majority of manufacturers and importers voting in the referendum, who also represent a majority of the volume represented in the referendum.
The Paper and Paper-Based Packaging program was developed to strengthen the position of paper and paper-based packaging in the marketplace, maintain and expand markets for paper and paper-based packaging and develop new uses for paper and paper-based packaging within the United States. The Paper and Packaging Board has administered the program since 2014.
Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual commodities in the United States and abroad. Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 21 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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