Apr 24, 2012
Cherry growers amend marketing order

USDA will amend the federal marketing order regulating tart cherries grown in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

During a recent referendum, eligible growers and processors favored amendments recommended by the Cherry Industry Administrative Board. To be adopted, two-thirds of growers voting, or those representing at least two-thirds of the volume of cherries, must approve the proposed modifications.

Additionally, processors freezing or canning more than 50 percent of the total volume of tart cherries must also favor the proposed changes, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

The amendments passed, with eligible growers – 95 percent by vote and 97 percent by volume, along with processors representing more than 88 percent of canned or frozen tart cherries – voting in favor of the modifications, according to AMS.

The amendments will revise:

• The term “handle,” to ensure that acquisition of grower diversion certificates are not considered handling

• The order’s marketing policy provisions, so grower-diverted cherries are not counted as production in the volume control formula

• The grower diversion privilege provisions, so grower-diverted cherries are not treated as actual harvested cherries

“The industry’s favorable vote shows that they find value in the marketing order and the opportunities it provides in expanding the tart cherry market and helping local growers,” said Robert Keeney, deputy administrator for the AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program.

Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin growers and processors who produced or processed tart cherries between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, were eligible to vote in the 2012 referendum, according to AMS.

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