With a 96% margin, pear growers in Oregon and Washington voted to continue their federal marketing order program, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The vote represented 88% of the total production volume of those voting, according to a USDA news release. The order itself calls for a referendum every six years. The USDA can consider discontinuing the order if less than two-thirds of voting growers — by number and production volume — favor continuance.
Pear growers first established the order in 1939, making it the oldest continuous running marketing order in the country, according to the Pear Bureau Northwest, Milwaukie, Ore. The order authorizes the establishment of minimum quality and size requirements, as well as the collection of assessments for pear research and promotion.
“The fresh pear growers in the Pacific Northwest have a long history of collaboration and this vote reaffirms the growers' commitment to working together to achieve the best results,” Kevin Moffitt, president of the bureau said in the release.
The value of the order’s programs is reviewed by a third party every six years. A study by Washington State University in 2007 showed that the net return to pear growers served by this marketing order was $3.07 for every dollar spent on promotional activities.