This document directs that a referendum be conducted among eligible producers of raspberries for processing and importers of processed raspberries to determine whether they favor the establishment of an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for processed raspberries. The proposed program, Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Proposed Order), was submitted to the Department of Agriculture (Department) by the Washington Red Raspberry Commission (WRRC). Under the Proposed Order, producers of raspberries for processing and importers of processed raspberries would pay an assessment of up to one cent per pound, with the initial assessment rate being one cent per pound, which would be paid to the proposed National Processed Raspberry Council (Council). Producers and importers of less than 20,000 pounds annually of raspberries for processing and processed raspberries, respectively, would be exempt from the assessment. The proposed program would be implemented under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). The Department is conducting an initial referendum to ascertain whether the persons to be covered by and assessed under the Proposed Order favor the implementation of the program prior to it going into effect. The Proposed Order would be implemented if it is approved by a majority of producers and importers voting in the referendum.
Agency Contact: Kimberly Coy, Marketing Specialist, Research and Promotion Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 0632, Stop 0244, Washington, DC 20250-0244; telephone: (202) 720-9915 or (888) 720-9917 (toll free); or facsimile: (202) 205-2800; or e-mail: Kimberly.Coy@ams.usda.gov.
This is a proposed regulation.