Jun 23, 2008
Cherry Industry Administrative Board Sets ‘Free’ Percentage at 90

The Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB), which administers the federal marketing order governing red tart cherries, recommended that the free percentage be set at 90 percent and the restricted percentage at 10 percent.

The decision was made at CIAB’s annual marketing policy meeting June 19 in Grand Rapids, Mich., following USDA’s estimate of the crop size that morning. Percentages are calculated using the USDA’s estimate of harvest. USDA released its official crop estimate projecting a national crop of 177 million pounds of red tart cherries. Of that total, 135 million pounds of cherries are expected to be produced in Michigan, with the balance being produced in the other states subject to the marketing order.

The tart cherry industry adjusts the restricted percentage by the volume of cherries that must be released back to handlers to satisfy a provision of the order known as the “Market Growth Factor.”This provision requires that 10 percent of the average demand be released to handlers to help build market opportunities for tart cherries. After adjusting the restricted percent for the market growth factor release, it is projected that there will be no effective restriction on tart cherries for the current season.

Final percentages are determined in September. The final decision on the recommendations is made by USDA Secretary Ed Schafer.

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