Agricultural Marketing Service Washington Sweet Cherry Information

Agricultural Marketing Service Press Release No. 005-12; Contact Gwen Sparks, (202) 260-8210

Washington State Sweet Cherry Information: Marketing Order to Continue

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2012 –– Washington state sweet cherry growers have voted to continue their federal marketing order.

During a November 2011 referendum, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating volume, favored continuing the marketing order.  A referendum is required once every six years.  It passes if two-thirds of the growers voting, or growers who produce two-thirds of the volume of sweet cherries represented in the referendum, vote to continue the order.

“The industry’s favorable vote shows that they find value in the marketing order and the opportunities it provides in expanding the sweet cherry market and helping local growers thrive,” said Robert Keeney, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) acting administrator.

Marketing orders and marketing agreements are designed to help stabilize market conditions for fruits, vegetables and specialty crops.  The programs allow farmers to work collectively to solve marketing problems.  Industries voluntarily enter into these programs and choose to have federal oversight of certain aspects of their operations.  AMS oversees the programs to ensure that marketing orders and agreements operate in the public interest and within legal bounds.

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