Pecan producers passed a Federal Marketing Order for Pecans, which is a program funded by pecan producers and administered by pecan stakeholders for the benefit of the industry.
U. S. Department of Agriculture announced the results May 6, which was based on votes by pecan growers in 15 pecan-producing areas.
The FMO for pecans will be administered by a yet-to-be-selected 17-member American Pecan Council, which will be nominated by the industry and appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. 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. The program will be financed by assessments collected from pecan handlers.
Among the initial actions of the council will be to hire full time professional staff to carry on the day-to-day business of the American Pecan Council. The pecan industry will be joining its sister tree nuts that have conducted marketing campaigns for decades. The pecan is the only commercially consumed tree nut native to North America.
In a referendum conducted March 9 through March 30, 77 percent of the voting producers representing 88 percent 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.
Approximately 80 percent of the world’s pecan production is located in the United States.