The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order has been terminated. The termination of the order ends the research and promotion program that was established in 2012 to expand the market and uses of processed raspberries. The National Processed Raspberry Council administered the program with oversight from USDA and was one of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards.
The termination is a result of a referendum held Sept. 10 - Oct. 5, 2018, in which 57 percent of the eligible voters favored ending the program. The referendum was conducted after USDA received a petition supported by more than the required 10 percent of eligible producers and importers.
After announcing the results of the referendum, USDA took the following actions to wind down the council’s activities and terminate the program:
- Appointed three council members, nominated by their peers, to serve as trustees to liquidate the organization’s affairs.
- Issued a final rule in the Federal Register on Feb. 20, 2019, terminating the requirement to pay assessments.
- Conducted an audit to determine the council’s final financial standing.
- Issued a final rule in the Federal Register on Sept. 24, 2019, terminating the order with an effective date of Sept. 25, 2019.
Residual funds not needed to cover the costs of liquidating the program were turned over to USDA for distribution to one or more domestic raspberry industry organizations to continue a similar program.
Since 1966, Congress has authorized these 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. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.