The Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement is well on its way to finalization. It is modeled after California’s agreement, put in place earlier this year.

At the Arizona committee’s most recent meeting in mid-November, eight additional signatory shippers were approved and added to the marketing agreement, according to Ed Hermes, legislative liaison, public information officer with the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA).

“With the addition of these new shippers, (the agreement) represents the vast majority of the leafy green industry in Arizona.”

The committee has contracted with the ADA-Citrus, Fruit and Vegetable (ADA-CFV) for inspection and auditing services, Hermes says. “They further instructed ADA-CFV to enter into a memorandum of understanding with CDFA to conduct audits to make sure that signatories are abiding by the metrics, which are yet to be decided.”

The committee set up a budget of $1.251 million to pay for all of the operations of the marketing agreement. A 3-cent assessment was proposed on all leafy greens from producers participating in the agreement. A public hearing regarding the proposed assessment is scheduled for Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. in Yuma.

“At that meeting, the committee will make a final decision on the assessment rate and will decide on the metrics and best practices that all signatories must abide by in order to protect leafy greens as well as other items,” Hermes says.