Home Industry News Public Hearing in February on Proposed Amendments to California Raisins Marketing Order

Public Hearing in February on Proposed Amendments to California Raisins Marketing Order

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the federal marketing order for California raisins Feb. 13-14, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT at the Raisin Administrative Committee offices in Fresno, California.

The committee, which locally administers the marketing order, recommended the following amendments:

  • Reduce membership from 47 to 21.
  • Eliminate the designated cooperative bargaining association member seat.
  • Lower quorum requirements from 25 to 14.
  • Remove producer district representation.
  • Remove the requirement for separate member and alternate nominations for independent or small cooperative producers.
  • Remove two factors for establishing marketing policy.
  • Add language to clarify the quality of reconditioned raisins.
  • Add authority to accept voluntary contributions.
  • Add language regarding ownership of intellectual property.

The hearing will continue, if necessary, until all amendments have been addressed. USDA will conduct a producer referendum if the hearing record favors the proposed amendments.

The hearing will provide all interested persons an opportunity to speak in support of or in opposition to the proposals and for USDA to receive such evidence on the record. People may also file briefs after the hearing, and file exceptions to any recommended decision that may be issued.

All attendees are required to make a notice of appearance on the record. All persons wishing to submit written material as evidence at the hearing should be prepared to submit multiples copies of such material during the hearing.

Hearing details:

Date:               Feb. 13-14, 2024

Time:              9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT

Location:        Raisin Administrative Committee offices

2445 Capitol Street, Suite 200, Fresno, California

The hearing notice was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 12, 2024.  Copies may be obtained from Christy Pankey, Marketing Specialist, or Matthew Pavone, Chief, Rulemaking Services Branch, Market Development Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-8085, or Email: Christy.Pankey@usda.gov or Matthew.Pavone@usda.gov.

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 to ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

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