National Processed Raspberry Council votes to discontinue USDA promotional program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Nov. 7 that producers of raspberries for processing and importers of processed raspberries did not approve continuing their national research and promotion program.
Industry representatives voted in a referendum held by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Sept. 10 through Oct. 5, 2018.
In the referendum, only 43 percent of voting producers and importers were in favor of continuing the program. For the program to continue, at least 50 percent of those voting must be in favor.
USDA will work with the National Processed Raspberry Council to begin the process of terminating program operations.
The Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research and Information Order requires USDA to conduct a continuance referendum every seven years. A referendum may also be held by request of 10 percent or more of all the eligible producers and importers, by request of the National Processed Raspberry Council, which administers the program, or when the Secretary of Agriculture deems it necessary. In March 2018, USDA received a petition for a referendum supported by more than the required 10 percent of eligible producers and importers. More information about referenda and voting procedures is in section 1208.71 and Subpart B of the order.
The program was developed to expand the market and uses of processed raspberries. The council has administered the program since 2012. More information about the processed raspberry program is available on AMS’ National Processed Raspberry Council page or the council’s website, www.redrazz.org.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.