Federal tart cherry order up for vote
Tart cherry growers and processors across the nation have until the end of March to vote on the continuation of the federal cherry marketing order.
At least half of votes cast need to be in favor of the referendum, but USDA also considers benefits and disadvantages to growers, processors, and consumers in determining its continuation.
Cherry Industry Administrative Board executive director Mollie Woods tells Brownfield the industry has changed significantly since the last vote six years ago, but growers and processors still remain the decision-makers of their activities.
“How do we get people to eat more cherries? How do we manage the market that we have? We are a supply control order which is unique because there are only three in the United States that have the ability and right to do that. And then we also fund promotion, marketing, and health benefits research.”
Board member and Michigan grower Mike Van Agtmael tells Brownfield the checkoff is a very valuable tool and he wants every grower to vote.
“If we pass up the opportunity to pass this referendum, we’ll probably never see another one as long as we’re in business.”
The federal order represents growers and processors in seven states including Michigan and Wisconsin and has been in place since 1997.