USDA Announces Results of the Florida Citrus Referendum

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 11:00am

Release No.: 154-15

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is announcing that citrus growers in Florida have passed a referendum to amend their federal marketing order program.

Producers of Florida oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and tangelos for the fresh market voted in the referendum from Sep. 14, 2015 through Oct. 5, 2015. The growers voted overwhelmingly in favor of all nine amendments recommended by the Citrus Administrative Committee (committee), with 96 percent of the votes approving the proposed changes. 

The amendments authorize the committee to:

  • Regulate new varieties and hybrids of citrus fruit;
  • Regulate intrastate shipments of citrus fruit;
  • Revise the process for redistricting the production area;
  • Change the term of office and tenure requirements for committee members;
  • Mail balloting procedures for committee membership nominations;
  • Increase the capacity of financial reserve funds;
  • Authorize pack and container requirements for domestic shipments and authorize different regulations for different markets;
  • Eliminate the use of separate acceptance statements during the nomination process; and
  • Require handlers to register with the committee.

Notice of the referendum was published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2015, and ballot materials were mailed to all known producers of record on Sept. 11, 2015.  A final rule implementing the amendments will be published in a future issue of the Federal Register.

Marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop producers and handlers expand and maintain market success.  The Florida Citrus Marketing Order became effective in 1939 and is administered by the 18-member Citrus Administrative Committee.  As with all marketing orders, AMS ensures that the program operates in accordance with authorizing legislation (the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937) and adheres to agency policies.

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