The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that mango first handlers and importers approved continuing their federal research and promotion program and removing the provisions of frozen mangos as a covered commodity under the program. Mango first handlers and importers voted in a referendum Sept. 21 through Oct. 9, 2020.
In the referendum, 60% of mango first handlers and importers voting were in favor of continuing the program. 49% of mango first handlers and importers voting were not in favor of frozen mangos as a covered commodity. In addition, 83% of the frozen importers voting were not in favor of continuing frozen mango as a covered commodity.
For the mango research and promotion program to continue, the referendum had to be favored by a majority of mango first handlers and importers voting in the referendum. For the continuance of frozen mangos as a covered commodity, the referendum had to be favored by a majority of fresh first handlers and importers and frozen importers, including if favored by a majority of frozen importers, voting in the referendum. Therefore, the mango program will continue without the frozen mango provisions.
USDA will begin the process of amending the Mango Promotion, Research and Information Order to remove the provisions of frozen mangos from the order, including suspending assessments on frozen mangos through rulemaking.
Voting was open to first handlers who received 500,000 or more pounds of fresh mangos from producers and to importers who imported 500,000 or more pounds of fresh mangos or 200,000 or more pounds of frozen mangos into the United States. To participate in the referendum, mango first handlers and importers who were subject to assessments during the period of Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019 were eligible.
The mango research and promotion program was developed to strengthen the position of mangos in the marketplace, maintain and expand markets for mangos and to carry out programs, plans, and projects designed to provide maximum benefits to the mango industry within the United States. More information about the National Mango Board is on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Mango Board webpage and on the board’s website, www.Mango.org.
Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual commodities in the United States and abroad. Since 1966, Congress has authorized the development of industry-funded research and promotion boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight of 21 boards, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.