The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today that it will conduct a referendum Aug. 8-26, 2022, for eligible first handlers and importers of honey or honey products to decide whether to continue the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order.
The Order shall continue if it is favored by a majority of first handlers and importers voting in the referendum and a majority of volume voting in the referendum, who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the handling or importation of honey or honey products.
To vote in the referendum, first handlers and importers must have handled or imported 250,000 pounds or more of honey or honey products during the representative period Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021, and are subject to assessment under the program.
AMS will conduct the referendum by express mail and electronic ballot. AMS staff will express mail ballots and voting instructions to all known eligible first handlers and importers of honey or honey products before the voting period. Any eligible first handler or importer who does not receive a ballot by Aug. 8, 2022, should contact referendum agent Katie Cook, Marketing Specialist, at (202) 617-4760 or (202) 720-9915, or email Katie.Cook@usda.gov. Completed ballots delivered to AMS via express mail or electronic means must be delivered no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 26, 2022.
The Federal Register Notice was published in the Federal Register on May 31, 2022.
The referendum, known as a continuance referendum, is required by law to be held every seven years. More information about referendum procedures is in Subpart B of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order. For more information about the Board, visit the National Honey Board page.
AMS policy is that diversity of the board should reflect the diversity of its industries in terms of the experience of members, methods of production and distribution, marketing strategies, and other distinguishing factors that will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table. When submitting nominations, the industry must consider the diversity of the population served and the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the members to serve a diverse population.
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 22 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender