The AMS Market Development Division is responsible for conducting referenda for Research and Promotion programs. Simply put, a referendum is an event where eligible parties vote for or against a specific issue. The reasons for a referendum are dependent upon the specific regulations governing that commodity. There are typically three reasons for conducting a referendum, which are outlined in each program’s regulations:
- Establishment of a new research and promotion program
- Continuation of an existing research and promotion program
- If 10% or more of eligible voters (assessment payers) request a referendum
Additionally, the Secretary of Agriculture may hold a referendum at any time.
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion and Research Program – October 2023
The Secretary of Agriculture will conduct a referendum to determine whether eligible manufacturers or importers favor the continuation of the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order. For the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Program to continue, it must be approved by a majority of the manufacturers and importers voting in the referendum who also represent a majority of the volume of paper and paper-based packaging represented in the referendum.
Referendum Agents: Marlene Betts, Marketing Specialist, and Alexandra Caryl, Branch Chief, SCP, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244, Room 1406–S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250, are designated as the referendum agents to conduct this referendum. Telephone: (202) 720-8085 Electronic Mail: Marlene.Betts@usda.gov.
Voting Period: The voting period for the referendum is October 6, 2023 through October 20, 2023. Manufacturers and importers who manufacture or import 100,000 short tons or more of paper and paper-based products from January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022 (representative period) are eligible to vote in the referendum.
The Secretary of Agriculture conducted a referendum to determine whether eligible first handlers or importers favored the continuation of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order. In the referendum, 73.8% of first handlers and importers voting, who represented 85.5% of the volume of honey or honey products voting in the referendum, were in favor of continuing the program. Over 50% of the first handlers and importers voting and over 50% of the volume voting in the referendum were required for the program to continue.
- Notice to Trade – Honey Industry Votes to Continue the Research and Promotion Program
- Federal Register Notice published May 31, 2022
- Notice to Trade - USDA Sets Dates for Honey Packers and Importers Research and Promotion Program Continuance Referendum
Referendum Agents: Katie Cook, Marketing Specialist, and Heather Pichelman, Acting Director, Market Development Division, SCP, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244, Room 1406–S, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250, are designated as the referendum agents to conduct this referendum. Telephone: (202) 617-4760 Electronic Mail: Katie.Cook@usda.gov.
Voting Period: The voting period for the referendum was August 8, 2022 through August 26, 2022. First handlers and importers who handled or imported 250,000 pounds or more of honey or honey products from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021 are eligible to vote in the referendum.