USDA Announces Results of the California Olive Marketing Order Referendum

June 29, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that olive growers in California have voted to amend their federal marketing order.

The amendment revises the quorum requirement for the California Olive Committee from the current requirement of five producer and five handler members to any 10 committee members or their alternates. Keeping both handler and producer representation, while making it easier to meet quorum requirements, will help facilitate the committee’s ability to respond quickly to the industry’s needs.

In a referendum conducted March 9 – March 20, 2020, the amendment was favored by 86% of the producers voting in the referendum, representing 96% of the total volume of olives produced by those voting. For the amendment to pass, it must have been favored either by at least two-thirds of the producers voting in the referendum or at least two-thirds of the volume produced by voters represented in the referendum. Both thresholds were met.

A final rule implementing the amendment was published in the Federal Register June 29, 2020.

More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of olives grown in California is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service 932 CA Olives webpage.

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. The Agricultural Marketing Service provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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