The National Pecan Federation submitted a Pecan Research, Promotion, and Information Order to the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, and after review, Mr. Bruce Summers of the AMS has submitted the proposal to the federal registry for review and comments.
The National Pecan Federation, made up of several regional and state pecan growers organizations along with the national shellers organization, has submitted for comment and approval, a Research and Promotion board to assess pecan imports coming into the US.
Since the inception of the American Pecan Council’s federal marketing order, back in 2016, US pecan growers have been paying assessments on their pecans in order to fund marketing, promotion, and research activities for American Pecans. These assessments are paid by American growers with hopes of increasing demand for pecans around the globe.
The marketing order has been working to increase demand for American Pecans, but a problem arose when a brave whistleblower revealed that a certain APC board member was attempting to utilize American pecan growers funds to sell pecans imported from Mexico. The revelation of misconduct exposed an underlying problem of millions of pounds of pecans coming into the US getting a free ride on the assessments paid by American pecan growers.
Members of the National Pecan Federation along with the help of the esteemed Redding Firm have developed a way to level the playing field for all pecans in the US. The newly proposed “Pecan Research, Promotion, and Information Order” is meant to give the industry a way to assess pecan imports coming into the US. According to the proposal pecan imports account for nearly 39% of all pecans consumed in the US, and by not paying an assessment, that equals millions of pounds of pecans, and millions of missed advertising dollars.
The Research, Promotion and Information Order as proposed by AMS would be made up of a board of 17 members called the American Pecan Promotion Board, and “The purpose of the program would be to strengthen the position of pecans in the marketplace, maintain and expand markets for pecans, and develop new uses for pecans”.
The 17 member board would be made up of 10 US pecan growers, and 7 pecan importers who would direct the staff and activities of the organization. The US grower seats would be allocated based on production giving 4 seats to the west, 3 seats to the central, and 3 seats to the eastern region. The importer seats do not appear to be allocated by region.
The proposed order was published in the federal registry early Tuesday morning and is now open for commenting and questions from industry. The commenting period will last until November 23, 2020 at which time commenting will be closed and the decisions will be made whether to accept the order as proposed. The National Pecan Federation is encouraging growers, accumulators, shellers, and any other interested parties, to send in your comments for review and feedback on the proposal.
The proposal can be viewed by clicking the image below or by following the link provided. Comments can be submitted directly on the federal registry by clicking the “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT” button at the top of the proposal.