During a referendum held from Aug. 26 to Sept. 6, growers approved all five amendments recommended by the Sacramento-based Kiwifruit Administrative Committee, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the committee.
The amendments authorize the committee to:
Conduct production and postharvest research to assist or improve the efficient production and postharvest handling of kiwifruit;
Establish marketing research and development programs that promote, assist, or improve the marketing, distribution, and consumption of kiwifruit;
Receive and expend voluntary contributions for kiwifruit market development projects, market research, and production and postharvest research;
Amend procedures to specify that recommendations for production research and market development be approved by eight members of the committee, and,
Clarify provisions regarding the service of alternate members.
The changes reflect the committee taking on responsibilities formerly handled by the California Kiwifruit Commission, a state-level organization, which is no longer in existence, said John Fagundes, owner of Hanford, Calif.-based Fagundes Agribusiness and its marketing arm, Cal Harvest Marketing Inc.
“We’re consolidating some functions into one group,” he said. “It provides things a little more economically.”
In the past, Fagundes said, the committee only handled setting grade standards.
The changes were made without raising the assessment on kiwifruit growers, Fagundes said. In fact, the assessment went down this year.