The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a referendum Oct. 19 through Nov. 9, 2020, for Florida citrus producers to vote on whether to continue their federal marketing order.
Producers who produced oranges, grapefruit, tangerines or pummelos within the designated production area in Florida for the fresh market from Aug. 1, 2019, through July 31, 2020, are eligible to vote. Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 6, 2020.
USDA will consider continuing the marketing order if at least two-thirds of the producers voting, by number or volume produced, vote in favor of continuance.
The marketing order authorizes the Citrus Administrative Committee to regulate quality, volume control, marking, pack and container regulations, and conduct research and promotion activities under USDA’s oversight. The marketing order requires a continuance referendum every six years to determine producers’ level of support for the program.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will mail ballots and voting instructions to all producers of record. Eligible producers who do not receive a ballot by Oct. 19, 2020 may contact Jennie Varela at Jennie.Varela@usda.gov or (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, Florida, 33880.
More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of citrus produced in Florida is available on AMS’s 905 Florida citrus webpage.
More information about federal marketing orders is available on the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at (202) 720-2491.
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 29 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender