The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that sweet cherry growers in Washington voted to continue their federal marketing order program. The Washington sweet cherry marketing order authorizes grade, size, quality, maturity, container regulations, and marketing research and development projects. The Washington Cherry Marketing Committee locally administers the marketing order.
The terms of this voluntary marketing order require that a referendum be held on whether growers want to continue operating under terms of the order every six-years. For the program to continue, sweet cherry growers in designated counties in Washington must approve the marketing order by either two-thirds of the growers voting in the referendum or by those representing at least two-thirds of the volume of sweet cherries produced by those voting in the referendum.
The vote was held from April 21, 2017, through May 15, 2017. Growers participating in the referendum must have produced sweet cherries in designated counties in Washington from April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017. The Notice of the referendum was published in the Feb. 14, 2017, Federal Register.
The continuation of the marketing order was favored by 97 percent of sweet cherry growers voting in the referendum, representing 98 percent of the volume produced by those voting. USDA would have considered terminating the marketing order if continuance was not favored by sweet cherry growers represented in the referendum.
More information is available on the AMS Sweet Cherries Marketing Order web page.
USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.