The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that industry producers and importers voted to approve a national research and promotion program for processed raspberries. The vote was taken in a referendum conducted by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) from June 8 to June 24, 2011.

In the referendum, 88 percent of those voting favored implementation of the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research and Information Order. Voting eligibility was limited to producers and importers of 20,000 or more pounds of raspberries for processing or processed raspberries in 2010.

The new program will be administered, under AMS supervision, by a 13-member council and its alternates who will be responsible for carrying out activities intended to strengthen the position of the processed raspberry industry in the marketplace. The council will include:

• Six producers from states producing at least three million pounds of raspberries for processing

• One producer member from all other states producing less than three million pounds of raspberries for processing

• Three importers

• Two foreign producers

• One at-large member

The program will be funded by a mandatory assessment of one cent per pound of raspberries paid by producers and importers who meet or exceed 20,000 pounds per year. Producers and importers of less than 20,000 pounds per year of raspberries would be exempt. These assessments will be used to help expand, maintain and develop markets for processed raspberries in the United States and abroad.

Research and Promotion Programs are self-help programs, funded through industry member assessments and administered by board members selected by the Secretary of Agriculture. They allow commodity groups to conduct promotion, market and production research, and new product development for the benefit of their industries.  

AMS will begin the nomination process once the order becomes effective. For more information contact Kimberly Coy at (888) 720-9917, or by e-mailing Kimberly.Coy@ams.usda.gov.