The mushroom R&P program operates as the Mushroom Council. The program's purpose is to maintain and expand existing mushroom markets and uses. The program is administered under AMS oversight by the Mushroom Council, which is composed of mushroom industry representatives nominated by their peers and appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.
The Council collects assessments on fresh market mushrooms produced in or imported into the 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Producers and importers who produce or import, on average, more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms annually are assessed. First handlers collect the assessment from producers and remit the assessment to the Council. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection collects the assessment on imported mushrooms. The assessment rate is 0.0055 cents per pound.
For calendar year 2016, the Council’s research and promotion program budget is $5.1 million. The Council expects to receive about $4.5 million in assessments on domestic mushrooms and $625,000 on imported mushrooms. The Council reimburses the Federal government for the cost of administering the program.
In January 1993, AMS issued the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Order, which created the program under the authority of the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act (pdf).
Nine members serve on the Council. The United States is divided into three production regions for the purpose of nominating members to the Council. Each region with average annual production of 50 million pounds or more is entitled to one member on the Council. Each region is entitled to additional Council members based on additional annual production. The volume of imports reached 50 million pounds and a separate region was established for importers.
The Council has three full-time employees located in Redwood Shores, California. You can access a listing of current Board members and alternates on the Mushroom Council roster.
Organic Assessment Exemption
R&P programs allow persons that produce, handle, market, process, manufacture, feed or import “organic” and “100 percent organic” products to be exempt from paying assessments regardless of whether they are a “split” operation.