Mar 3, 2021
Changes coming for California Walnut Marketing Order Referendum

The USDA has announced that amendments have been made to the federal marketing order regulating the handling of California walnuts.

The California Walnut Board will now be authorized to provide credit for market promotion expenses paid by handlers against their annual assessments due under the program. Amendments to the order were approved in a referendum conducted between November and December of last year.

More than 80% of growers representing nearly 83% of the total volume of walnuts were in favor of the action. The purpose of a credit-back program is to encourage handler marketing activities that promote the sale, use and consumption of walnuts.

Similar programs have been successfully implemented in the almond and prune industries. A final rule amending the marketing order will be published in the Federal Register.

Some highlights of the action:

  • The amendments were approved in a referendum conducted Nov. 30 through Dec. 11, 2020.
  • They were favored by 80.57% of the growers voting, representing 82.81% of the total volume of walnuts.
  • To gain approval, the amendments needed support of at least two-thirds of the growers voting in the referendum or at least two-thirds of the volume of walnuts grown by those voting in the referendum.

This authority will allow handlers to receive a credit-back for eligible marketing expenditures of 70 cents for every dollar in spend. This important authority is one of the ways the CWB is modernizing the order to make it work harder for the industry, using every possible tool available to spur new investment in new product development and marketing initiatives to continue growing walnut consumption.

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