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US pecan marketing order moves ahead

Growers of America’s “native nut” voted overwhelmingly in favor of a federal marketing order one year ago. This summer the American Pecan Council is gearing up to market and promote pecans, invest in research and establish quality, grade and size standards.

“We’re starting from scratch,” said Philip Arnold, a member of the American Pecan Council and a long time New Mexico pecan grower and buyer who gave a laundry list of activities the new organization has been undertaking.

That includes the hiring of an executive director and staff who are working out of the American Pecan Council’s new office in Ft. Worth, Texas. Tree Nut Farm Press spoke with Byron Gossett, the executive director about how the Federal Marketing Order establishing the APC would benefit the pecan industry in three ways:

“First, the FMO creates a funding mechanism, for the first time, that allows the creation of a comprehensive messaging campaign to the American consumer about the positive traits of the American Pecan,” said Gossett. “This will ultimately stabilize and increase demand.

“Second, the FMO presents the opportunity and funding to pursue an objective crop estimate process that is crucial to an improved price discovery methodology for the American Pecan. Third, and perhaps most important, the FMO provides the platform for unifying a traditionally fragmented industry and leverages the experience, insight and creativity of industry leaders (including growers, shellers and handlers) throughout the 15 pecan-producing states.”

Gossett said the funding allows for a home office and professional staff. The latter will be guided by an elected 34 member governing body (17 voting members/17 alternates). The APC will coordinate with staff by means of standing committees, special working groups and, at least, two meetings each annually.

The marketing and promotion web site for the APC, www.americanpecan.com is up and running, said Chris Nissen with the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which provides oversight for all the producer-funded checkoff programs in the country.

To fund the council’s efforts, grower assessments have been determined. Growers of improved varieties of pecans will pay three cents per inshell pound while growers of native varieties or substandard nuts will pay two cents per inshell pound. The assessments will be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2016.

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Publication date: 8/8/2017


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