(April 3, UPDATED 5:10 p.m.) An annual marketing war chest of $30 million to promote consumption could eventually result from the creation of a national fruit and vegetable promotion board paid for by mandatory assessments of first handlers of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.

The Produce for Better Health Foundation is kicking off a campaign for the promotion board, and used its annual meeting April 3 in Monterey, Calif., to release details to its full board. A six-member foundation task force has been researching the plan for more than half a year and presented its findings at the meeting.

The proposed approach — called perhaps the best opportunity to boost consumption for this generation — would establish a marketing order with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s authority to collect $30 million with a mandatory 0.046 percent assessment (less than 1/20 of 1%) on the f.o.b. market value of all first handlers and importers of both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.

For industry reaction about the plan, see (outdated link – contact the web editor at webeditor@thepacker.com if you need this information)