CONGRESSMAN BISHOP WELCOMES CREATION OF PECAN SUPPORT ORGANIZATION
ALBANY, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) welcomed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement of a Federal Marketing Order (FMO) for pecans grown in 15 states, a self-help program funded by the pecan industry and administered by a new 17-member American Pecan Council for the benefit of the industry. Its responsibilities under the Final Order to be published in the Federal Register will be to market and promote pecans to increase demand; gather and publish accurate industry data; coordinate and invest in pecan research; establish quality, grade, and size standards; and create packaging guidelines and standards.
“Georgia’s Second Congressional District is one of the largest pecan producing areas in the nation,” said Congressman Sanford Bishop. “The Federal Marketing Order’s creation is a boon to the pecan industry, for jobs across America, and for consumers of Georgia’s favorite tree-nut, the pecan!”
“The U.S pecan industry took a giant step forward today as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsak, announced the passage of the Federal Marketing Order for Pecans. The Marketing Order will allow the pecan industry to collect funds to help with the national marketing, education and research for the pecan industry. This new Marketing Order for pecans will be an asset for all Georgia pecan farmers. It could not have been possible without the Congressional support and efforts from Sanford Bishop,” said Randy Hudson, a Georgia pecan grower and President of the U.S. Pecan Growers Council.
In a referendum conducted March 9 through March 30, 2016, 77% of the voting producers representing 88% of the volume supported the marketing order. The marketing order will authorize data collection; research and promotion activities; and regulation of grade, size, quality, pack and containers for pecans grown in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
A council of 17 growers and shellers (handlers) will be nominated by the industry and appointed by the Secretary of Department of Agriculture, Tom Visack, to administer the marketing order with oversight by AMS. The program will be financed by assessments collected from pecan handlers.
Commercially produced in 14 states, pecans are the only native tree nut grown in the United States. Approximately 80% of the world’s pecan production is located in the United States. The U.S. pecan crop totaled 302.8 million pounds in 2012, a 12% increase from 2011. Georgia’s Second Congressional District produced over 100 million pounds of pecans in 2012.
For more information regarding the Federal Marketing Order, please click here.