USDA Announces Temporary Suspension of Continuance Referendum for Raisin Marketing Order

October 16, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the continuance referendum requirement under the federal marketing order for California raisins is suspended until Nov. 26, 2029. The suspension, announced in an interim final rule published in the Federal Register, provides the Agricultural Marketing Service time to complete a formal rulemaking and for the U.S. raisin industry and the Raisin Administrative Committee to assess the benefits of the rulemaking before raisin growers vote in a continuance referendum.

The committee recommended this action on Oct. 20, 2022, to avoid the scheduled continuance referendum from being conducted within a two-year period of the formal rulemaking and the potential confusion among producers. This action will also maintain the structure of the timetable for conducting continuance referenda in the marketing order.

The interim final rule was published in the Federal Register on October 16, 2023, and becomes effective October 16, 2023.

More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 989 California Raisins webpage, the Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage, or by contacting the Market Development Division at (202) 720-8085.

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 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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