Kiwifruit producers will conduct a referendum on proposed amendments to the Federal Marketing Order for kiwifruit grown in California.

The referendum, scheduled for Aug. 26 to Sept. 6, will gauge support for five proposed amendments recommended by the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee, according to a The U.S. Department of Agriculture news release

A proposed rule will be issued Aug. 2 in the Federal Register, and beginning Aug 19 USDA will mail ballots to all known growers of kiwifruit in California between Aug. 1, 2012, and July 31, 2013, the release said.

The proposed amendments would provide authority to:

  • recommend and conduct production and postharvest research;
  • recommend and conduct market research and development projects;
  • receive and expend voluntary contributions;
  • specify that recommendations for production research and market development be approved by eight members of the committee; and
  • update provisions regarding alternate members’ service on the committee.

The amendments will become effective if either two-thirds of the growers voting, or producers accounting for two-thirds of the volume of kiwifruit represented in the referendum, vote to approve the amendments, the release said.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will mail ballots and voting instructions to all eligible growers.

Eligible growers who do not receive a ballot may contact Rose Aguayo or Kathie Notoro at USDA’s California Marketing Field Office, 2202 Monterey St., Fresno, CA 93721; or call (559) 487-5901.