Jun 27, 2023
USDA ends Washington apricot marketing order

The USDA is terminating the marketing order that regulates the handling of Washington apricots.

The marketing order was established in 1957 but has been operating without handling requirements since 2014, when they were suspended to reduce industry expenses.

USDA AMS logoUSDA made the change following a recommendation from the marketing order’s committee to indefinitely suspend handling requirements to reduce industry expenses and increase returns to producers and handlers. In July 2021, the committee unanimously voted to recommend that the USDA terminate the entire marketing order after determining the suspension of handling requirements had not adversely affected marketing of Washington apricots. While considering the recommendation, USDA published a final rule on April 13, 2022, suspending the reporting and assessment collection requirements under the marketing order.

A 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule for this termination closed Dec. 19, 2022. One comment was received in support of termination. USDA informed Congress of the termination on March 3, in compliance with the requirement to notify Congress at least 60 days before terminating a federal marketing order.

The final rule for this action was published in the Federal Register on June 27, 2023.

More information about the marketing order is available on the 922 Washington Apricots webpage on the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) website. Information about federal marketing orders is available on AMS’s Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Market Development Division at (202) 720-2491.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to fruit, vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders and agreements to help ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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