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Title 7 – Agriculture–Volume 8

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Title 7 – Agriculture–Volume 8



SUBTITLE B – Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued)

Part


chapter ix – Agricultural Marketing Service (Marketing Agreements and Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), Department of Agriculture

900


Subtitle B – Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued)

CHAPTER IX – AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE (MARKETING AGREEMENTS AND ORDERS; FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

PART 900 – GENERAL REGULATIONS


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674; 7 U.S.C. 7401; 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; and 44 U.S.C. Ch. 35.



Source:25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A – Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings Pertaining to Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders


Authority:7 U.S.C. 610.

§ 900.1 Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.


§ 900.2 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) The term Act means Public Act No. 10, 73 Congress (48 Stat. 31), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246), as amended.


(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.


(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act for the Secretary.


(d) The term judge means any administrative law judge appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105 or any presiding official appointed by the Secretary, and assigned to conduct the proceeding.


(e) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act for the Administrator.


(f) [Reserved]


(g) The term Federal Register means the publication provided for by the act of July 26, 1935 (49 Stat. 500), and acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof.


(h) The term hearing means that part of the proceeding which involves the submission of evidence.


(i) The term marketing agreement means any marketing agreement or any amendment thereto which may be entered into pursuant to section 8b of the act.


(j) The term marketing order means any order or any amendment thereto which may be issued pursuant to section 8c of the act, and after notice and hearing as required by said section.


(k) The term proceeding means a proceeding upon the basis of which a marketing agreement may be entered into or a marketing order may be issued.


(l) The term hearing clerk means the hearing clerk, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 26 FR 7796, Aug. 22, 1961; 28 FR 579, Jan. 23, 1963; 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972; 38 FR 29798, Oct. 29, 1973; 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002; 82 FR 58098, Dec. 11, 2017]


§ 900.3 Proposals.

(a) A marketing agreement or a marketing order may be proposed by the Secretary or by any other person. If any person other than the Secretary proposes a marketing agreement or marketing order, he shall file with the Administrator a written application, together with at least four copies of the proposal, requesting the Secretary to hold a hearing upon the proposal. Upon receipt of such proposal, the Administrator shall cause such investigation to be made and such consideration thereof to be given as, in his opinion, are warranted. If the investigation and consideration lead the Administrator to conclude that the proposed marketing agreement or marketing order will not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, or that for other proper reasons a hearing should not be held on the proposal, he shall deny the application, and promptly notify the applicant of such denial, which notice shall be accompanied by a brief statement of the grounds for the denial.


(b) If the investigation and consideration lead the Administrator to conclude that the proposed marketing agreement or marketing order will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, or if the Secretary desires to propose a marketing agreement or marketing order, he shall sign and cause to be served a notice of hearing, as provided in this subpart.


§ 900.4 Institution of proceeding.

(a) Filing and contents of the notice of hearing. The proceeding shall be instituted by filing the notice of hearing with the hearing clerk. The notice of hearing shall contain a reference to the authority under which the marketing agreement or marketing order is proposed; shall define the scope of the hearing as specifically as may be practicable; shall describe any alternative procedures established pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section; shall contain either the terms or substance of the proposed marketing agreement or marketing order or a description of the subjects and issues involved and shall state the industry, area, and class of persons to be regulated, the time and place of such hearing, and the place where copies of such proposed marketing agreement or marketing order may be obtained or examined. The time of the hearing shall not be less than 15 days after the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register, as provided in this subpart, unless the Administrator shall determine that an emergency exists which requires a shorter period of notice, in which case the period of notice shall be that which the Administrator may determine to be reasonable in the circumstances: Provided, That, in the case of hearings on amendments to marketing agreements or marketing orders, the time of the hearing may be less than 15 days but shall not be less than 3 days after the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register.


(b) Giving notice of hearing and supplemental publicity. (1) The Administrator shall give or cause to be given notice of hearing in the following manner:


(i) By publication of the notice of hearing in the Federal Register;


(ii) By mailing a true copy of the notice of hearing, using a postal or other delivery service or electronic communication, to each of the persons known to the Administrator to be interested therein;


(iii) By issuing a press release containing the complete text or a summary of the contents of the notice of hearing and making the same available to such newspapers in the area proposed to be subjected to regulation as reasonably will tend to bring the ntoice to the attention of the persons interested therein;


(iv) By forwarding copies of the notice of hearing addressed to the governors of such of the several States of the United States and to executive heads of such of the Territories and possessions of the United States as the Administrator, having due regard for the subject matter of the proposal and the public interest, shall determine, should be notified.


(2) Legal notice of the hearing shall be deemed to be given if notice is given in the manner provided by paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section; and failure to give notice in the manner provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii), (iii), and (iv) of this section shall not affect the legality of the notice.


(c) Record of notice and supplemental publicity. There shall be filed with the hearing clerk or submitted to the judge at the hearing an affidavit or certificate of the person giving the notice provided in paragraph (b)(1) (iii) and (iv) of this section. In regard to the provisions relating to mailing in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, a determination by the Administrator that such provisions have been complied with shall be filed with the hearing clerk or submitted to the judge at the hearing. In the alternative, if notice is not given in the manner provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii), (iii), and (iv) of this section there shall be filed with the hearing clerk or submitted to the judge at the hearing a determination by the Administrator that such notice is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest with a brief statement of the reasons for such determination. Determinations by the Administrator as herein provided shall be final.


(d) Alternative procedures. The Administrator may establish alternative procedures for the proceeding that are in addition to or in lieu of one or more procedures in this subpart, provided that the procedures are consistent with 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557. The alternative procedures must be described in the notice of hearing, as required in paragraph (a) of this section.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 83 FR 52944, Oct. 19, 2018; 85 FR 41174, July 9, 2020]


§ 900.5 Docket number.

Each proceeding, immediately following its institution, shall be assigned a docket number by the hearing clerk and thereafter the proceeding may be referred to by such number.


§ 900.6 Judges.

(a) Assignment. No judge who has any pecuniary interest in the outcome of a proceeding shall serve as judge in such proceeding.


(b) Powers of judges. Subject to review by the Secretary, as provided elsewhere in this subpart, the judge, in any proceeding, shall have power to:


(1) Rule upon motions and requests;


(2) Change the time and place of hearing, and adjourn the hearing from time to time or from place to place;


(3) Administer oaths and affirmations and take affidavits;


(4) Examine and cross-examine witnesses and receive evidence;


(5) Admit or exclude evidence;


(6) Hear oral argument on facts or law;


(7) Do all acts and take all measures necessary for the maintenance of order at the hearing and the efficient conduct of the proceeding.


(c) Who may act in absence of judge. In case of the absence of the judge or his inability to act, the powers and duties to be performed by him under this part in connection with a proceeding may, without abatement of the proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the Secretary, be assigned to any other judge.


(d) Disqualification of judge. The judge may at any time withdraw as judge in a proceeding if he deems himself to be disqualified. Upon the filing by an interested person in good faith of a timely and sufficient affidavit of personal bias or disqualification of a judge, the Secretary shall determine the matter as a part of the record and decision in the proceeding, after making such investigation or holding such hearings, or both, as he may deem appropriate in the circumstances.


§ 900.7 Motions and requests.

(a) General. All motions and requests shall be filed with the hearing clerk, except that those made during the course of the hearing may be filed with the judge or may be stated orally and made a part of the transcript. Except as provided in § 900.15(b) such motions and requests shall be addressed to, and ruled on by, the presiding officer if made prior to his certification of the transcript pursuant to § 900.10 or by the Secretary if made thereafter.


(b) Certification to Secretary. The judge may in his discretion submit or certify to the Secretary for decision any motion, request, objection, or other question addressed to the judge.


§ 900.8 Conduct of the hearing.

(a) Time and place. The hearing shall be held at the time and place fixed in the notice of hearing, unless the judge shall have changed the time or place, in which event the judge shall file with the hearing clerk a notice of such change, which notice shall be given in the same manner as provided in § 900.4 (relating to the giving of notice of the hearing): Provided, That, if the change in time or place of hearing is made less than 5 days prior to the date previously fixed for the hearing, the judge, either in addition to or in lieu of causing the notice of the change to be given, shall announce, or cause to be announced, the change at the time and place previously fixed for the hearing.


(b) Appearances – (1) Right to appear. At the hearing, any interested person shall be given an opportunity to appear, either in person or through his authorized counsel or representative, and to be heard with respect to matters relevant and material to the proceeding, provided that such interested person complies with any alternative procedures included in the hearing notice pursuant to§ 900.4. Any interested person who desires to be heard in person at any hearing under these rules shall, before proceeding to testify, state his name, address, and occupation. If any such person is appearing through a counsel or representative, such person or such counsel or representative shall, before proceeding to testify or otherwise to participate in the hearing, state for the record the authority to act as such counsel or representative, and the names and addresses and occupations of such person and such counsel or representative. Any such person or such counsel or representative shall give such other information respecting his appearance as the judge may request.


(2) Debarment of counsel or representative. Wherever, while a proceeding is pending before him, the judge finds that a person, acting as counsel or representative for any person participating in the proceeding, is guilty of unethical or unprofessional conduct, the judge may order that such person be precluded from further acting as counsel or representative in such proceeding. An appeal to the Secretary may be taken from any such order, but the proceeding shall not be delayed or suspended pending disposition of the appeal: Provided, That the judge may suspend the proceeding for a reasonable time for the purpose of enabling the client to obtain other counsel or other representative. In case the judge has ordered that a person be precluded from further acting as counsel or representative in the proceeding, the presiding officer, within a reasonable time thereafter shall submit to the Secretary a report of the facts and circumstances surrounding such order and shall recommend what action the Secretary should take respecting the appearance of such person as counsel or representative in other proceedings before the Secretary. Thereafter the Secretary may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, issue such order, respecting the appearance of such person as counsel or representative in proceedings before the Secretary, as the Secretary finds to be appropriate.


(3) Failure to appear. If any interested person fails to appear at the hearing, he shall be deemed to have waived the right to be heard in the proceeding.


(c) Order of procedure. (1) The judge shall, at the opening of the hearing prior to the taking of testimony, have noted as part of the record the notice of hearing as filed with the Office of the Federal Register and the affidavit or certificate of the giving of notice or the determination provided for in § 900.4(c).


(2) Evidence shall then be received with respect to the matters specified in the notice of the hearing in such order as the judge shall announce.


(d) Evidence – (1) In general. The hearing shall be publicly conducted, and the testimony given at the hearing shall be reported verbatim.


(i) Every witness shall, before proceeding to testify, be sworn or make affirmation. Cross-examination shall be permitted to the extent required for a full and true disclosure of the facts.


(ii) When necessary, in order to prevent undue prolongation of the hearing, the judge may limit the number of times any witness may testify to the same matter or the amount of corroborative or cumulative evidence.


(iii) The judge shall, insofar as practicable, exclude evidence which is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious, or which is not of the sort upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely.


(2) Objections. If a party objects to the admission or rejection of any evidence or to any other ruling of the judge during the hearing, he shall state briefly the grounds of such objection, whereupon an automatic exception will follow if the objection is overruled by the judge. The transcript shall not include argument or debate thereon except as ordered by the judge. The ruling of the judge on any objection shall be a part of the transcript. Only objections made before the judge may subsequently be relied upon in the proceeding.


(3) Proof and authentication of official records or documents. An official record or document, when admissible for any purpose, shall be admissible as evidence without the production of the person who made or prepared the same. Such record or document shall, in the discretion of the judge, be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the person having legal custody thereof and accompanied by a certificate that such person has the custody.


(4) Exhibits. All written statements, charts, tabulations, or similar data offered in evidence at the hearing shall, after identification by the proponent and upon satisfactory showing of the authenticity, relevancy, and materiality of the contents thereof, be numbered as exhibits and received in evidence and made a part of the record. Such exhibits shall be submitted in quadruplicate and in documentary form. In case the required number of copies is not made available, the judge shall exercise his discretion as to whether said exhibits shall, when practicable, be read in evidence or whether additional copies shall be required to be submitted within a time to be specified by the judge. If the testimony of a witness refers to a statute, or to a report or document (including the record of any previous hearing) the judge, after inquiry relating to the identification of such statute, report, or document, shall determine whether the same shall be produced at the hearing and physically be made a part of the evidence as an exhibit, or whether it shall be incorporated into the evidence by reference. If relevant and material matter offered in evidence is embraced in a report or document (including the record of any previous hearing) containing immaterial or irrelevant matter, such immaterial or irrelevant matter shall be excluded and shall be segregated insofar as practicable, subject to the direction of the presiding officer.


(5) Official notice. Official notice may be taken of such matters as are judicially noticed by the courts of the United States and of any other matter of technical, scientific or commercial fact of established character: Provided, That interested persons shall be given adequate notice, at the hearing or subsequent thereto, of matters so noticed and shall be given adequate opportunity to show that such facts are inaccurate or are erroneously noticed.


(6) Offer of proof. Whenever evidence is excluded from the record, the party offering such evidence may make an offer of proof, which shall be included in the transcript. The offer of proof shall consist of a brief statement describing the evidence to be offered. If the evidence consists of a brief oral statement or of an exhibit, it shall be inserted into the transcript in toto. In such event, it shall be considered a part of the transcript if the Secretary decides that the judge’s ruling in excluding the evidence was erroneous. The judge shall not allow the insertion of such evidence in toto if the taking of such evidence will consume a considerable length of time at the hearing. In the latter event, if the Secretary decides that the judge erred in excluding the evidence, and that such error was substantial, the hearing shall be reopened to permit the taking of such evidence.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 37 FR 1103, Jan. 25, 1972; 85 FR 41174, July 9, 2020]


§ 900.9 Oral and written arguments.

(a) Oral argument before judge. Oral argument before the judge shall be in the discretion of the judge. Such argument, when permitted, may be limited by the judge to any extent that he finds necessary for the expeditious disposition of the proceeding and shall be reduced to writing and made part of the transcript.


(b) Briefs, proposed findings and conclusions. The judge shall announce at the hearing a reasonable period of time within which interested persons may file with the hearing clerk proposed findings and conclusions, and written arguments or briefs, based upon the evidence received at the hearing, citing, where practicable, the page or pages of the transcript of the testimony where such evidence appears. Factual material other than that adduced at the hearing or subject to official notice shall not be alluded to therein, and, in any case, shall not be considered in the formulation of the marketing agreement or marketing order. If the person filing a brief desires the Secretary to consider any objection made by such person to a ruling of the judge, as provided in § 900.8(d), he shall include in the brief a concise statement concerning each such objection, referring where practicable, to the pertinent pages of the transcript.


§ 900.10 Certification of the transcript.

The judge shall notify the hearing clerk of the close of a hearing as soon as possible thereafter and of the time for filing written arguments, briefs, proposed findings and proposed conclusions, and shall furnish the hearing clerk with such other information as may be necessary. As soon as possible after the hearing, the judge shall transmit to the hearing clerk an original and three copies of the transcript of the testimony and the original and all copies of the exhibits not already on file in the office of the hearing clerk. He shall attach to the original transcript of testimony his certificate stating that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the transcript is a true transcript of the testimony given at the hearing except in such particulars as he shall specify; and that the exhibits transmitted are all the exhibits as introduced at the hearing with such exceptions as he shall specify. A copy of such certificate shall be attached to each of the copies of the transcript of testimony. In accordance with such certificate the hearing clerk shall note upon the official record copy, and cause to be noted on other copies, of the transcript each correction detailed therein by adding or crossing out (but without obscuring the text as originally transcribed) at the appropriate place any words necessary to make the same conform to the correct meaning, as certified by the judge. The hearing clerk shall obtain and file certifications to the effect that such corrections have been effected in copies other than the official record copy.


§ 900.11 Copies of the transcript.

(a) During the period in which the proceeding has an active status in the Department, a copy of the transcript and exhibits shall be kept on file in the office of the hearing clerk, where it shall be available for examination during official hours of business. Thereafter said transcript and exhibits shall be made available by the hearing clerk for examination during official hours of business after prior request and reasonable notice to the hearing clerk.


(b) Transcripts of hearings shall be made available to any person at actual cost of duplication.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.12 Administrator’s recommended decision.

(a) Preparation. As soon as practicable following the termination of the period allowed for the filing of written arguments or briefs and proposed findings and conclusions the Administrator shall file with the hearing clerk a recommended decision.


(b) Contents. The Administrator’s recommended decision shall include: (1) A preliminary statement containing a description of the history of the proceedings, a brief explanation of the material issues of fact, law, or discretion presented on the record, and proposed findings and conclusions with respect to such issues as well as the reasons or basis therefor; (2) a ruling upon each proposed finding or conclusion submitted by interested persons, and (3) an appropriate proposed marketing agreement or marketing order effectuating his recommendations.


(c) Exceptions to recommended decision. Immediately following the filing of his recommended decision, the Administrator shall give notice thereof, and opportunity to file exceptions thereto by publication in the Federal Register. Within a period of time specified in such notice any interested person may file with the hearing clerk exceptions to the Administrator’s proposed marketing agreement or marketing order, or both, as the case may be, and a brief in support of such exceptions. Such exceptions shall be in writing, shall refer, where practicable, to the related pages of the transcript and may suggest appropriate changes in the proposed marketing agreement or marketing order.


(d) Omission of recommended decision. The procedure provided in this section may be omitted only if the Secretary finds on the basis of the record that due and timely execution of his functions imperatively and unavoidably requires such omission.


§ 900.13 Submission to Secretary.

Upon the expiration of the period allowed for filing exceptions or upon request of the Secretary, the hearing clerk shall transmit to the Secretary the record of the proceeding. Such record shall include: All motions and requests filed with the hearing clerk and rulings thereon; the certified transcript; any proposed findings or conclusions or written arguments or briefs that may have been filed; the Administrator’s recommended decision, if any, and such exceptions as may have been filed.


§ 900.13a Decision by Secretary.

After due consideration of the record, the Secretary shall render a decision. Such decision shall become a part of the record and shall include: (a) A statement of his findings and conclusions, as well as the reasons or basis therefor, upon all the material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record, (b) a ruling upon each proposed finding and proposed conclusion not previously ruled upon in the record, (c) a ruling upon each exception filed by interested persons and (d) either (1) a denial of the proposal to issue a marketing agreement or marketing order or (2) a marketing agreement and, if the findings upon the record so warrant, a marketing order, the provisions of which shall be set forth directly or by reference, regulating the handling of the commodity or product in the same manner and to the same extent as such marketing agreement, which order shall be complete except for its effective date and any determinations to be made under § 900.14(b) or § 900.14(c): Provided, That such marketing order shall not be executed, issued, or made effective until and unless the Secretary determines that the requirements of § 900.14(b) or § 900.14(c) have been met.


§ 900.14 Execution and issuance of marketing agreements and marketing orders.

(a) Execution and issuance of marketing agreement. If the Secretary has approved a marketing agreement, as provided in § 900.13a, the Administrator shall cause copies thereof to be distributed for execution by the handlers eligible to become parties thereto. If and when such number of the handlers as the Secretary shall deem sufficient shall have executed the agreement, the Secretary shall execute the agreement. After execution of a marketing agreement, such agreement shall be filed with the hearing clerk, and notice thereof, together with notice of the effective date, shall be given by publication in the Federal Register. The marketing agreement shall not become effective less than 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register, unless the Secretary, upon good cause found and published with the agreement, fixes an earlier effective date therefor: Provided, That no marketing agreement shall become effective as to any person signatory thereto before either (1) it has been filed with the Office of the Federal Register, or (2) such person has received actual notice that the Secretary has executed the agreement and the effective date of the marketing agreement.


(b) Issuance of marketing order with marketing agreement. Whenever, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, the Secretary executes a marketing agreement, and handlers also have executed the same as provided in section 8c(8) of the Act, he shall, if he finds that it will tend to effectuate the purposes of the Act, issue and make effective the marketing order, if any, which was filed as a part of his decision pursuant to § 900.13a: Provided, That the issuance of such order shall have been approved or favored by producers as required by section 8c(8) of the act.


(c) Issuance of marketing order without marketing agreement. If, despite the failure or refusal of handlers to sign the marketing agreement, as provided in section 8c(8) of the Act, the Secretary makes the determinations required under section 8c(9) of the Act, the Secretary shall issue and make effective the marketing order, if any, which was filed as a part of his decision pursuant to § 900.13a.


(d) Effective date of marketing order. No marketing order shall become effective less than 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register, unless the Secretary, upon good cause found and published with the order, fixes an earlier effective date therefor: Provided, That no marketing order shall become effective as to any person sought to be charged thereunder before either (1) it has been filed with the Office of the Federal Register, or (2) such person has received actual notice of the issuance and terms of the marketing order.


(e) Notice of issuance. After issuance of a marketing order, such order shall be filed with the hearing clerk, and notice therof, together with notice of the effective date, shall be given by publication in the Federal Register. (7 U.S.C. 610(c).)


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 53 FR 15659, May 3, 1988]


§ 900.15 Filing; extensions of time; effective date of filing; and computation of time.

(a) Filing, number of copies. Except as is provided otherwise in this subpart, all documents or papers required or authorized by the foregoing provisions of this subpart to be filed with the hearing clerk shall be filed in quadruplicate. Any document or paper, so required or authorized to be filed with the hearing clerk, shall, during the course of an oral hearing, be filed with the presiding officer. The provisions of this subpart concerning filing with the hearing clerk of hearing notices, recommended and final decisions, marketing agreements and orders, and all documents described in § 900.17 shall be met by filing a true copy thereof with the hearing clerk.


(b) Extensions of time. The time for the filing of any document or paper required or authorized by the foregoing provisions of this subpart to be filed may be extended by the judge before the record is certified by the judge or by the Administrator (after the record is so certified by the judge but before it is transmitted to the Secretary), or by the Secretary (after the record is transmitted to the Secretary) upon request filed, and if, in the judgment of the judge, Administrator, or the Secretary, as the case may be, there is good reason for the extension. All rulings made pursuant to this paragraph shall be filed with the hearing clerk.


(c) Effective date of filing. Any document or paper required or authorized in this subpart to be filed shall be deemed to be filed at the time it is received by the Hearing Clerk.


(d) Computation of time. Each day, including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, shall be included in computing the time allowed for filing any document or paper: Provided, That when the time for filing a document or paper expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal public holiday, the time allowed for filing the document or paper shall be extended to include the following business day.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 30 FR 254, Jan. 9, 1965; 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.16 Ex parte communications.

(a) At no stage of the proceeding following the issuance of a notice of hearing and prior to the issuance of the Secretary’s decision therein shall an employee of the Department who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding discuss ex parte the merits of the proceeding with any person having an interest in the proceeding or with any representative of such person: Provided, That procedural matters and status reports shall not be included within this limitation; and Provided further, That an employee of the Department who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding may discuss the merits of the proceeding with such a person if all parties known to be interested in the proceeding have been given notice and an opportunity to participate. A memorandum of any such discussion shall be included in the record of the proceeding.


(b) No person interested in the proceeding shall make or knowingly cause to be made to an employee of the Department who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.


(c) If an employee of the Department who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding receives or makes a communication prohibited by this section, the Department shall place on the public record of the proceeding:


(1) All such written communications;


(2) Memoranda stating the substance of all such oral communications; and


(3) All written responses, and memoranda stating the substance of all oral responses thereto.


(d) Upon receipt of a communication knowingly made or knowingly caused to be made by a party in violation of this section, the Department may, to the extent consistent with the interest of justice and the policy of the underlying statute, take whatever steps are deemed necessary to nullify the effect of such communication.


(e) For the purposes of this section, ex parte communication means an oral or written communication not on the public record with respect to which reasonable prior notice to all interested parties is not given, but which shall not include requests for status reports (including requests on procedural matters) on any proceeding.


[42 FR 10833, Feb. 24, 1977]


§ 900.17 Additional documents to be filed with hearing clerk.

In addition to the documents or papers required or authorized by the foregoing provisions of this subpart to be filed with the hearing clerk, the hearing clerk shall receive for filing and shall have custody of all papers, reports, records, orders, and other documents which relate to the administration of any marketing agreement or marketing order and which the Secretary is required to issue or to approve.


§ 900.18 Hearing before Secretary.

The Secretary may act in the place and stead of a judge in any proceeding under this subpart. When he so acts the hearing clerk shall transmit the record to the Secretary at the expiration of the period provided for the filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions and orders, and the Secretary shall thereupon, after due consideration of the record, issue his final decision in the proceeding: Provided, That he may issue a tentative decision in which event the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to file exceptions before the issuance of the final decision.


Subpart B – Supplemental Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings to Amend Federal Milk Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders


Authority:7 U.S.C. 608c(17) and 610.


Source:73 FR 49088, Aug. 20, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

§ 900.20 Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.


§ 900.21 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the Act and in § 900.2 of this part shall apply.


§ 900.22 Proposal submission requirements.

When a person other than the Secretary makes a proposal to amend a Federal milk marketing agreement or order under § 900.3 of this part, the proposal shall address the following, to the extent applicable:


(a) Explain the proposal. What is the disorderly marketing condition that the proposal is intended to address?


(b) What is the purpose of the proposal?


(c) Describe the current Federal order requirements or industry practices relative to the proposal.


(d) Describe the expected impact on the industry, including on producers and handlers, and on consumers. Explain/Quantify.


(e) What are the expected effects on small businesses as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612)? Explain/Quantify.


(f) How would adoption of the proposal increase or decrease costs to producers, handlers, others in the marketing chain, consumers, the Market Administrator offices and/or the Secretary? Explain/Quantify.


(g) Would a pre-hearing information session be helpful to explain the proposal?


§ 900.23 Procedures following receipt of a proposal.

Within 30 days of receipt of a proposal to amend a Federal milk marketing agreement order under § 900.3 of this part, USDA shall either: Issue a notice providing an action plan and expected timeframes for the different steps in the formal rulemaking process for completion of the hearing not more than 120 days after the date of the issuance of the notice; request additional information from the person submitting the proposal to be used in deciding whether a hearing will be held. If the information requested is not received within a specified timeframe, the request shall be denied; or deny the request. Notice of the action plan will be made on the Dairy Programs, AMS Web site and through program releases to interested persons.


§ 900.24 Pre-hearing information sessions.

A pre-hearing information session may be held by the Secretary in response to any proposals received under § 900.3 of this part. Any person proposing an amendment to a Federal milk marketing agreement or order may request that a pre-hearing information session be held. A person submitting a proposal shall have up to 3 calendar days to modify or withdraw his or her proposal prior to the publication of a notice of hearing.


§ 900.25 Advance submission of testimony.

Any person proposing an amendment to a Federal milk marketing agreement or order under § 900.3 of this part, when participating as a witness, shall make copies of his or her testimony, if prepared as an exhibit, and any other exhibits available to USDA officials before the start of the hearing on the person’s day of appearance. Individual dairy farmers shall not be subject to this requirement.


§ 900.26 Requesting USDA data for use at an amendatory hearing.

Requests for preparation of USDA data to be used at a Federal milk marketing agreement or order amendatory proceeding must be received by USDA at least 10 days before the beginning of the hearing. If an amendatory hearing is announced with less than 10 days before the start of the hearing, requests for data must be submitted within 2 days following publication of the notice of hearing in the Federal Register.


§ 900.27 Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and corrections to transcript.

(a) Under § 900.10 of this part, the period of time for interested persons to file corrections to the transcript of testimony at a Federal milk marketing agreement or order amendatory proceeding shall be no more than 30 days after the hearing record is available.


(b) Under § 900.9(b) of this part, the period of time after the completion of a Federal milk marketing agreement or order amendatory hearing for interested persons to file proposed findings and conclusions, and written arguments or briefs, shall be no more than 60 days after completion of the amendatory hearing.


§ 900.28 Deadline for issuance of recommended decisions or tentative final decisions.

In a Federal milk marketing agreement or order amendatory proceeding, USDA shall issue a recommended decision under § 900.12 or, when applicable, a tentative final decision, not later than 90 days after the deadline for submission of proposed findings and conclusions, and written arguments or briefs.


§ 900.29 Deadline for filing exceptions to recommended decisions.

In a Federal milk marketing agreement or order amendatory proceeding, exceptions to a recommended decision under § 900.12 shall be filed with the hearing clerk not later than 60 days after publication of the recommended decision in the Federal Register, unless otherwise specified in that decision.


§ 900.30 Deadline for issuance of Secretary’s (final) decisions.

A Secretary’s (final) decision under § 900.13a to a proposed amendment on marketing agreement or order shall be issued not later than 60 days after the deadline for submission of exceptions to the recommended decision.


§ 900.31 Electronic submission of hearing documents.

To the extent practicable, all documents filed with the hearing clerk in a proceeding to amend a Federal milk marketing agreement or order shall also be submitted electronically to the Dairy Programs, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. All documents should reference the docket number of the proceeding. Instructions for electronic filing will be provided in the notice of action plan referred to in § 900.23 of this subpart, at the amendatory hearing, and in each Federal Register publication regarding the amendatory proceeding.


§ 900.32 Informal rulemaking.

USDA may elect to use informal rulemaking procedures under 553 of Title 5, United States Code, to amend Federal milk marketing agreements and orders, other than provisions that directly affect milk prices. In making this determination, consideration shall be given to:


(a) The nature and complexity of the proposal;


(b) The potential regulatory and economic impacts on affected entities; and


(c) Any other relevant matters.


§ 900.33 Industry assessments.

If the Secretary determines it is necessary to improve or expedite an amendatory formal rulemaking proceeding to amend a Federal milk marketing agreement or order, USDA may impose an assessment on pooled milk to supplement appropriated funds for the procurement of such services, including but not limited to, court reporters, hearing examiners, legal counsel, hearing venue and associated travel for USDA officials. Only the milk pooled in the particular marketing area that stands to be affected by proposals heard at the amendatory proceeding may be assessed. The assessments shall be subject to the provisions of § 1000.85 (7 CFR 1000.85) concerning assessments for order administration, including the provision that assessments shall not exceed $.005 per hundredweight of milk for any given month.


Subpart C – Supplemental Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings to Amend Fruit, Vegetable and Nut Marketing Agreements and Marketing Orders


Authority:7 U.S.C. 608c(17) and 610.


Source:73 FR 49310, Aug. 21, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

§ 900.36 Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.


§ 900.37 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the Act and in § 900.2 of this part shall apply.


§ 900.38 Pre-hearing information sessions.

A pre-hearing information session concerning a proposal to amend a fruit, vegetable or nut marketing agreement or order may be held either prior or subsequent to submission of a proposal under § 900.3 of this part. Such sessions may be held by a marketing agreement or order committee or board or by the Secretary.


§ 900.39 Proposal submission requirements.

When a person other than the Secretary makes a proposal to amend a fruit, vegetable or nut marketing agreement or order under § 900.3 of this part, the proposal shall address the following, to the extent applicable:


(a) The purpose of the proposal;


(b) The problem the proposal is designed to address with explanation and quantification;


(c) The current requirements or industry practices relative to the proposal;


(d) The expected impact on the industry, including producers, handlers, and on consumers;


(e) In the case of marketing orders, an explanation, including supporting information and data, of how the proposal would tend to improve returns to producers, and in the case of marketing agreements, how the proposal impacts the signatories to the agreement;


(f) The expected effects on small businesses as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612);


(g) A description and quantification of whether the proposal would increase or decrease costs to producers, handlers, or others in the marketing chain, and to consumers, marketing order committees and boards and/or the Secretary;


(h) A description of how the proposal would be implemented; and


(i) A description, including quantification, of how compliance with the proposal would be effected.


§ 900.40 Written testimony and USDA data request requirements.

In addition to the provisions of § 900.8(b)(4), witnesses at an amendatory fruit, vegetable or nut formal rulemaking hearing shall make, to the extent practicable, at least 8 copies of their testimony, if prepared as an exhibit, and any other exhibits available to USDA before testimony is given on the day of appearance at the hearing. Industry requests for preparation of USDA data for a rulemaking hearing should be made at least 10 days prior to the beginning of the hearing.


§ 900.41 Electronic document submission standards.

To the extent practicable, all documents filed with the hearing clerk in a proceeding to amend a fruit, vegetable or nut marketing agreement or order shall also be submitted electronically to the Agricultural Marketing Service, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, USDA. All documents should reference the docket number of the proceeding. Instructions for electronic filing shall be provided at the amendatory formal rulemaking hearing and in each Federal Register publication regarding the amendatory proceeding.


§ 900.42 Industry assessments.

If the Secretary determines it is necessary to improve or expedite an amendatory fruit, vegetable or nut formal rulemaking proceeding, costs associated with improving or expediting the proceeding may be charged to the committees or boards. Such costs shall be paid with assessments from the handlers regulated under the marketing order to be amended or on signatories to the marketing agreement subject to amendment. Such assessments may supplement funds for costs associated with, but not limited to, court reporters, hearing examiners, legal counsel, hearing venue and associated travel for USDA officials.


§ 900.43 Use of informal rulemaking.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 900.1 through 900.18, and 900.36 through 900.42 of this part, the Secretary may determine that informal rulemaking procedures under § 553 of Title 5, United States Code be used to amend fruit, vegetable or nut marketing agreements and marketing orders. In making this determination, consideration shall be given to:


(1) The nature and complexity of the proposal;


(2) The potential regulatory and economic impacts on affected entities; and


(3) Any other relevant matters.


Subpart D – Procedural Requirements Governing Proceedings on Petitions To Modify or To Be Exempted From Marketing Orders


Authority:7 U.S.C. 608c.

§ 900.50 Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.


§ 900.51 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) The term act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress, as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. and Sup. 601);


(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture;


(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act for the Secretary;


(d) The term judge means any administrative law judge appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105 or any presiding official appointed by the Secretary, and assigned to conduct the proceeding.


(e) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act for the Administrator.


(f) [Reserved]


(g) The term Federal Register means the publication provided for by the act of July 26, 1935 (49 Stat. 500), and acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof;


(h) The term marketing order means any order or any amendment thereto which may be issued pursuant to section 8c of the act;


(i) The term handler means any person who, by the terms of a marketing order, is subject thereto, or to whom a marketing order is sought to be made applicable;


(j) The term proceeding means a proceeding before the Secretary arising under section 8c(15)(A) of the Act.


(k) The term hearing means that part of the proceeding which involves the submission of evidence;


(l) The term party includes the Department;


(m) The term hearing clerk means the hearing clerk, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.;


(n) [Reserved]


(o) The term decision means the judge’s initial decision in proceedings subject to 5 U.S.C. 556 and 557, and includes the judge’s (1) findings of fact and conclusions with respect to all material issues of fact, law or discretion as well as the reasons or basis thereof, (2) order, and (3) rulings on findings, conclusions and orders submitted by the parties;


(p) The term petition includes an amended petition.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 26 FR 7796, Aug. 22, 1961; 28 FR 579, Jan. 23, 1963; 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972; 38 FR 29798, Oct. 29, 1973; 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002; 82 FR 58098, Dec. 11, 2017]


§ 900.52 Institution of proceeding.

(a) Filing and service of petition. Any handler desiring to complain that any marketing order or any provision of any such order or any obligation imposed in connection therewith is not in accordance with law, shall file with the hearing clerk, in quadruplicate, a petition in writing addressed to the Secretary. Promptly upon receipt of the petition, the hearing clerk shall transmit a true copy thereof to the Administrator and the General Counsel, respectively.


(b) Contents of petition. A petition shall contain:


(1) The correct name, address, and principal place of business of the petitioner. If petitioner is a corporation, such fact shall be stated, together with the name of the State of incorporation, the date of incorporation, and the names, addresses, and respective positions held by its officers; if an unincorporated association, the names and addresses of its officers, and the respective positions held by them; if a partnership, the name and address of each partner;


(2) Reference to the specific terms or provisions of the marketing order, or the interpretation or application thereof, which are complained of;


(3) A full statement of the facts (avoiding a mere repetition of detailed evidence) upon which the petition is based, and which it is desired that the Secretary consider, setting forth clearly and concisely the nature of the petitioner’s business and the manner in which petitioner claims to be affected by the terms or provisions of the marketing order, or the interpretation or application thereof, which are complained of;


(4) A statement of the grounds on which the terms or provisions of the marketing order, or the interpretation or application thereof, which are complained of, are challenged as not in accordance with law;


(5) Prayers for the specific relief which the petitioner desires the Secretary to grant;


(6) An affidavit by the petitioner, or, if the petitioner is not an individual, by an officer of the petitioner having knowledge of the facts stated in the petition, verifying the petition and stating that it is filed in good faith and not for purposes of delay.


(c) Motion to dismiss petition – (1) Filing, contents, and responses thereto. If the Administrator is of the opinion that the petition, or any portion thereof, does not substantially comply, in form or content, with the act or with the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, or is not filed in good faith, or is filed for purposes of delay, the Administrator may, within thirty days after the service of the petition, file with the Hearing Clerk a motion to dismiss the petition, or any portion thereof, on one or more of the grounds stated in this paragraph. Such motion shall specify the grounds of objection to the petition and if based, in whole or in part, on an allegation of fact not appearing on the face of the petition, shall be accompanied by appropriate affidavits or documentary evidence substantiating such allegations of fact. The motion may be accompanied by a memorandum of law. Upon receipt of such motion, the Hearing Clerk shall cause a copy thereof to be served upon the petitioner, together with a notice stating that all papers to be submitted in opposition to such motion including any memorandum of law, must be filed by the petitioner with the hearing clerk not later than 20 days after the service of such notice upon the petitioner. Upon the expiration of the time specified in such notice, or upon receipt of such papers from the petitioner, the hearing clerk shall transmit all papers which have been filed in connection with the motion to the Judge for consideration.


(2) Decision by the Judge. The Judge, after due consideration, shall render a decision upon the motion stating the reasons for his action. Such decision shall be in the form of an order and shall be filed with the hearing clerk who shall cause a copy thereof to be served upon the petitioner and a copy thereof to be transmitted to the Administrator. Any such order shall be final unless appealed pursuant to § 900.65: Provided, That within 20 days following the service upon the petitioner of a copy of the order of the Judge dismissing the petition, or any portion thereof, on the ground that it does not substantially comply in form and content with the act or with paragraph (b) of this section, the petitioner shall be permitted to file an amended petition.


(3) Oral argument. Unless a written application for oral argument is filed by a party with the hearing clerk not later than the time fixed for filing papers in opposition to the motion, it shall be considered that the party does not desire oral argument. The granting of a request to make oral argument shall rest in the discretion of the Judge.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 38 FR 29798, Oct. 29, 1973; 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.52a Answer to petition.

(a) Time of filing. Within 30 days after the filing of the petition, the Administrator shall file an answer thereto: Provided, That if a motion to dismiss the petition, in whole or in part, is made pursuant to § 900.52(c), the answer shall be filed within 15 days after the service of an order of the judge denying the motion or granting the motion with respect to only a portion of the petition. The answer shall be filed with the hearing clerk who shall cause a copy thereof to be served promptly upon the petitioner.


(b) Contents. The answer shall specify which of the material allegations of fact or of law in the petition are controverted and which are not controverted. The answer also may contain affirmative allegations of fact constituting separate defenses and statements of objections to the sufficiency of the whole or any part of the petition.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 38 FR 29798, Oct. 29, 1973; 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.52b Amended pleadings.

At any time before the close of the hearing the petition or answer may be amended, but the hearing shall, at the request of the adverse party, be adjourned or recessed for such reasonable time as the judge may determine to be necessary to protect the interests of the parties. Amendments subsequent to the first amendment or subsequent to the filing of an answer may be made only with leave of the judge or with the written consent of the adverse party.


§ 900.53 Withdrawal of petition.

If, at any time after the petition is filed, the petitioner desires to withdraw the same, he shall file with the hearing clerk (or, if filed during the course of a hearing, with the judge) a written request for permission to withdraw. The judge may, in his discretion, thereupon dismiss the petition without further procedure: Provided, That, if the request to withdraw is filed after a hearing has been opened, permission to withdraw shall be granted only in exceptional circumstances.


§ 900.54 Docket number.

Each proceeding, immediately following its institution, shall be assigned a docket number by the hearing clerk and thereafter the proceeding may be referred to by such number.


§ 900.55 Judges.

(a) Assignment. No judge who has any pecuniary interest in the outcome of the proceeding, or who has participated in any investigation preceding the institution of the proceeding, shall serve as judge in such proceeding.


(b) Conduct. The judge shall conduct the proceeding in a fair and impartial manner and shall not discuss ex parte the merits of the proceeding with any person who is or who has been connected in any manner with the proceeding in an advocative or investigative capacity.


(c) Powers of judges. Subject to review by the Secretary, as provided elsewhere in this subpart, the judge shall have power to:


(1) Rule upon motions and requests;


(2) Adjourn the hearing from time to time, and change the time and place of hearing;


(3) Administer oaths and affirmations and take affidavits;


(4) Issue subpenas, under the facsimile signature of the Secretary, requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, records, contracts, papers, and other documentary evidence;


(5) Examine witnesses and receive evidence;


(6) Take or order, under the facsimile signature of the Secretary, the taking of depositions;


(7) Admit or exclude evidence;


(8) Hear oral argument on facts or law;


(9) Consolidate hearings upon two or more petitions pertaining to the same order;


(10) Do all acts and take all measures necessary for the maintenance of order at the hearing and the efficient conduct of the proceeding.


(d) Who may act in absence of judge. In case of the absence of the judge or his inability to act, the powers and duties to be performed by him under these rules of practice in connection with a proceeding may, without abatement of the proceeding unless otherwise ordered by the Secretary, be assigned to any other judge.


(e) Disqualification of judge. The judge may at any time withdraw as judge in a proceeding if he deems himself to be disqualified. Upon the filing by an interested person in good faith of a timely and sufficient affidavit of personal bias or disqualification of a judge, the Secretary shall determine the matter as a part of the record and decision in the proceeding, after making such investigation or holding such hearings, or both, as he may deem appropriate in the circumstances.


§ 900.56 Consolidated hearings.

At the discretion of the judge, hearings upon two or more petitions pertaining to the same order may be consolidated, and the evidence taken at such consolidated hearing may be embodied in a single record.


§ 900.57 Intervention.

Intervention in proceedings subject to this subpart shall not be allowed, except that, in the discretion of the Secretary or the judge, any person (other than the petitioner) showing a substantial interest in the outcome of a proceeding shall be permitted to participate in the oral argument and to file a brief.


§ 900.58 Prehearing conferences.

In any proceeding in which it appears that such procedure will expedite the proceeding, the judge, at any time prior to the commencement of or during the course of the hearing, may request the parties or their counsel to appear at a conference before him to consider (a) the simplification of issues; (b) the possibility of obtaining stipulations of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof; (c) the limitation of the number of expert or other witnesses; and (d) such other matters as may expedite and aid in the disposition of the proceeding. No transcript of such conference shall be made, but the judge shall prepare and file for the record a written summary of the action taken at the conference, which shall incorporate any written stipulations or agreements made by the parties at the conference or as a result of the conference. If the circumstances are such that a conference is impracticable, the judge may request the parties to correspond with him for the purpose of accomplishing any of the objects set forth in this section. The judge shall forward copies of letters and documents to the parties as the circumstances require. Correspondence in such negotiations shall not be a part of the record, but the judge shall submit a written summary for the record if any action is taken.


§ 900.59 Motions and requests.

(a) General. (1) All motions and requests shall be filed with the hearing clerk, except that those made during the course of an oral hearing may be filed with the judge or may be stated orally and made a part of the transcript.


(2) The judge is authorized to rule upon all motions and requests filed or made prior to the transmittal by the hearing clerk to the Secretary of the record as provided in this subpart. The Secretary shall rule upon all motions and requests filed after that time.


(b) Certification of motions. The submission or certification of any motion, request, objection, or other question to the Secretary, as provided in this subpart, shall be in the discretion of the judge.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 38 FR 29798, Oct. 29, 1973]


§ 900.60 Oral hearings before judge.

(a) Time and place. The judge shall set a time and place for hearing and shall file with the hearing clerk a notice stating the time and place of hearing. If any change in the time or place of hearing becomes necessary, it shall be made by the judge, who, in such event, shall file with the hearing clerk a notice of the change. Such notice shall be served upon the parties, unless it is made during the course of an oral hearing and made a part of the transcript.


(b) Appearances – (1) Representation. In any proceeding under the act, the parties may appear in person or by counsel or other representative. The Department, if represented by counsel, shall be represented by an attorney assigned by the General Counsel of the Department, and such attorney shall present or supervise the presentation of the position of the Department.


(2) Debarment of counsel or representative. Whenever, while a proceeding is pending before him, the judge finds that a person acting as counsel or representative for any party to the proceeding is guilty of unethical or unprofessional conduct, the judge may order that such person be precluded from further acting as counsel or representative in such proceeding. An appeal to the Secretary may be taken from any such order, but the proceeding shall not be delayed or suspended pending disposition of the appeal: Provided, That the judge may suspend the proceeding for a reasonable time for the purpose of enabling the client to obtain other counsel or representative. In case the judge has issued an order precluding a person from further acting as counsel or representative in the proceeding, the judge, within a reasonable time thereafter, shall submit to the Secretary a report of the facts and circumstances surrounding the issuance of the order and shall recommend what action the Secretary should take respecting the appearance of such person as counsel or representative in other proceedings before the Secretary. Thereafter, the Secretary may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, issue such order respecting the appearance of such person as counsel or representative in proceedings before the Secretary as the Secretary finds to be appropriate.


(3) Failure to appear. If the petitioner, after being duly notified, fails to appear at the hearing, he shall be deemed to have authorized the dismissal of the proceeding, without further procedure, and with or without prejudice as the judge may determine. In the event that the petitioner appears at the hearing and no representative of the Department appears, the judge shall proceed ex parte to hear the evidence of the petitioner. Provided, That failure on the part of such representative of the Department to appear at a hearing shall not be deemed to be waiver of the Department’s right to file suggested findings of fact, conclusions and order; to be served with a copy of the judge’s initial decision and to appeal to the Secretary with respect thereto.


(c) Order of proceeding. Except as may be determined otherwise by the judge, the petitioner shall proceed first at the hearing.


(d) Evidence – (1) In general. The hearing shall be publicly conducted, and the testimony given at the hearing shall be reported verbatim.


(i) The testimony of witnesses at a hearing shall be upon oath or affirmation and subject to cross-examination.


(ii) Any witness may, in the discretion of the judge, be examined separately and apart from all other witnesses except those who may be parties to the proceeding.


(iii) The judge shall exclude, insofar as practicable, evidence which is immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious, or which is not of the sort upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely.


(2) Objections. If a party objects to the admission or rejection of any evidence or to the limitation of the scope of any examination or cross-examination, or any other ruling of the judge, he shall state briefly the grounds of such objection, whereupon an automatic exception will follow which may be pursued in an appeal pursuant to § 900.65 by the party adversely affected by the judge’s ruling.


(3) Depositions. The deposition of any witness shall be admitted, in the manner hereinafter provided in and subject to the provisions of § 900.61.


(4) Affidavits. Except as is otherwise provided in this subpart, affidavits may be admitted only if the evidence is otherwise admissible and the parties agree (which may be determined by their failure to make timely objections) that affidavits may be used.


(5) Proof and authentication of official records or documents. An official record or document, when admissible for any purpose, shall be admissible in evidence without the production of the person who made or prepared the same. Such record or document shall, in the discretion of the judge, be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the person having legal custody thereof and accompanied by a certificate that such person has the custody.


(6) Exhibits. All written statements, charts, tabulations, or similar data offered in evidence at the hearing shall, after identification by the proponent and upon a satisfactory showing of the admissibility of the contents thereof, be numbered as exhibits and received in evidence and made a part of the record. Except where the judge finds that the furnishing of copies is impracticable, a copy of each exhibit, in addition to the original, shall be filed with the judge for the use of each other party to the proceeding. The judge shall advise the parties as to the exact number of copies which will be required to be filed and shall make and have noted on the record the proper distribution of the copies. If the testimony of a witness refers to a statute, or to a report, document, or transcript, the judge, after inquiry relating to the identification of such statute, report, document, or transcript, shall determine whether the same shall be produced at the hearing and physically be made a part of the evidence as an exhibit, or whether it shall be incorporated into the evidence by reference. If relevant and material matter offered in evidence is embraced in a report, document, or transcript containing immaterial or irrelevant matter, such immaterial or irrelevant matter shall be excluded and shall be segregated insofar as practicable, subject to the direction of the judge.


(7) Official notice. Official notice will be taken of such matters as are judicially noticed by the courts of the United States and of any other matter of technical, scientific, or commercial fact of established character: Provided, That the parties shall be given adequate notice, at the hearing or by reference in the judge’s report or the tentative order or otherwise, of matters so noticed, and (except where official notice is taken, for the first time in the proceeding, in the final order) shall be given adequate opportunity to show that such facts are erroneously noticed.


(8) Offer of proof. Whenever evidence is excluded from the record, the party offering such evidence may make an offer of proof, which shall be included in the transcript. The offer of proof shall consist of a brief statement describing the evidence to be offered. If the evidence consists of a brief oral statement or of an exhibit, it shall be inserted into the transcript in toto. In such event, it shall be considered a part of the transcript if the Secretary decides that the judge’s ruling in excluding the evidence was erroneous. The judge shall not allow the insertion of such evidence in toto if the taking of such evidence will consume a considerable length of time at the hearing. In the latter event, if on appeal the Secretary decides that the judge erred in excluding the evidence, and that such error was substantial, the hearing shall be reopened to permit the taking of such evidence.


(e) Transcript. Transcripts of hearings shall be made available to any person at actual cost of duplication.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 38 FR 29798, Oct. 29, 1973; 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.61 Depositions.

(a) Procedure in lieu of deposition. Before any party may have testimony taken by deposition, said party shall, if practicable, submit to the other party an affidavit which shall set forth the facts to which the witness would testify, if the deposition should be taken. If, after examination of such affidavit, the other party agrees, or (within 10 days after submission of the affidavit) fails to object, that the affidavit may be used in lieu of the deposition, the judge shall admit the affidavit in evidence and shall not order the deposition to be taken.


(b) Application for taking deposition. Upon the application of a party to the proceeding, the judge may, at any time after the filing of the moving paper, order, under the facsimile signature of the Secretary, the taking of testimony by deposition. The application shall be in writing and shall be filed with the hearing clerk and shall set forth: (1) The name and address of the proposed deponent; (2) the name and address of the person (referred to hereinafter in this section as the judge), qualified under the rules in this part to take depositions, before whom the proposed examination is to be made; (3) the proposed time and place of the examination, which shall be at least 15 days after the date of the mailing of the application; and (4) the reasons why such deposition should be taken.


(c) Judge’s order for taking deposition. If, after the examination of the application, the judge is of the opinion that the deposition should be taken, he shall order its taking. The order shall be filed with the hearing clerk and shall be served upon the parties and shall state: (1) The time and place of the examination (which shall not be less than 10 days after the filing of the order); (2) the name of the judge before whom the examination is to be made; (3) the name of the deponent. The judge and the time and place need not be the same as those suggested in the application.


(d) Qualifications of judge. The deposition shall be taken before the judge, or before a judge authorized by the law of the United States or by the law of the place of the examination to administer oaths, or before a judge authorized by the Secretary to administer oaths.


(e) Procedure on examination. (1) The deponent shall be examined under oath or affirmation and shall be subject to cross-examination. The testimony of the deponent shall be recorded by the judge or by some person under his direction and in his presence. In lieu of oral examination, parties may transmit written interrogatories to the judge prior to the examination and the judge shall propound such interrogatories to the deponent.


(2) The applicant must arrange for the examination of the witness either by oral examination or by written interrogatories. If it is found by the judge, upon the protest of a party to the proceeding, that such party has his residence and his place of business more than 100 miles from the place of the examination and that it would constitute an undue hardship upon such party to be represented at the examination, the applicant will be required to conduct the examination by means of interrogatories. When the examination is conducted by means of interrogatories, copies of the interrogatories shall be served upon the other parties to the proceeding at least five days prior to the date set for the examination, and the other parties shall be afforded an opportunity to file with the judge cross-interrogatories at any time prior to the time of the examination.


(f) Certification by judge. The judge shall certify on the deposition that the deponent was duly sworn by him and that the deposition is a true record of the deponent’s testimony. He shall then securely seal the deposition, together with two copies thereof, in an envelope and mail the same by registered mail to the hearing clerk.


(g) Use of depositions. A deposition ordered and taken in accord with the provisions of this section may be used in a proceeding under the act if the judge finds that the evidence is otherwise admissible and (1) that the witness is dead; or (2) that the witness is at a distance greater than 100 miles from the place of hearing, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party offering the deposition; or (3) that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, sickness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or (4) that the party offering the deposition has endeavored to procure the attendance of the witness by subpena but has been unable to do so; or (5) that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interests of justice, to allow the deposition to be used. If a deposition has been taken, and the party upon whose application it was taken refuses to offer it in evidence, the other party may offer the deposition, or any part thereof, in evidence.


§ 900.62 Subpenas.

(a) Issuance of subpenas. The attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence from any place in the United States on behalf of any party to the proceeding may, by subpena, be required at any designated place of hearing. Subpenas may be issued by the Secretary or by the judge, under the facsimile signature of the Secretary, upon a reasonable showing by the applicant of the grounds, necessity, and reasonable scope thereof.


(b) Application for subpena duces tecum. Subpenas for the production of documentary evidence, unless issued by the judge upon his own motion, shall be issued only upon a certified written application. Such application shall specify, as exactly as possible, the documents desired and shall show their competency, relevancy, and materiality and the necessity for their production.


(c) Service of subpenas. Subpenas may be served (1) by a United States Marshal or his deputy, or (2) by any other person who is not less than 18 years of age, or (3) by registering and mailing a copy of the subpena addressed to the person to be served at his or its last known residence or principal place of business or residence. Proof of service may be made by the return of service on the subpena by the United States Marshal or his deputy; or, if served by an individual other than a United States Marshal or his deputy, by an affidavit of such person stating that he personally served a copy of the subpena upon the person named therein; or, if service was by registered mail, by an affidavit made by the person mailing the subpena that it was mailed as provided in this paragraph and by the signed return post office receipt: Provided, That, if the subpena is issued on behalf of the Department, the return receipt without an affidavit of mailing shall be sufficient proof of service. In making personal service, the person making service shall leave a copy of the subpena with the person subpenaed; the original, bearing or accompanied by the required proof of service, shall be returned to the official who issued the same.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended 67 FR 10829, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.63 Fees and mileage.

Witnesses who are subpenaed and who appear in such proceeding, including witnesses whose depositions are taken, shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, and persons taking depositions shall be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States, to be paid by the party at whose request the deposition is taken. Witness fees and mileage shall be paid by the party at whose instance the witnesses appear, and claims therefor, as to witnesses subpenaed on behalf of the Department, shall be proved before the person issuing the subpena, and, as to witnesses subpenaed on behalf of any other party, shall be presented to such party.


§ 900.64 The Judge’s decision.

(a) Corrections to and certification of transcript. (1) At such time as the judge may specify, but not later than the time fixed for filing proposed findings of fact, conclusions and order, or briefs, as the case may be, the parties may file with the judge proposed corrections to the transcript.


(2) As soon as practicable after the filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions and order, or briefs, as the case may be, the judge shall file with the hearing clerk his certificate indicating any corrections to be made in the transcript, and stating that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the transcript, as corrected, is a true, correct, and complete transcript of the testimony given at the hearing, and that the exhibits are all the exhibits properly a part of the hearing record. The original of such certificate shall be attached to the original transcript and a copy of such certificate shall be served upon each of the parties by the hearing clerk who shall also enter onto the transcript (without obscuring the text) any correction noted in the certification.


(b) Proposed findings of fact, conclusions, and orders. Within 10 days (unless the judge shall have announced at the hearing a shorter or longer period of time) after the transcript has been filed with the hearing clerk, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, each party may file with the hearing clerk proposed findings of fact, conclusions, and order, based solely upon the evidence of record, and briefs in support thereof.


(c) Judge’s Decision. The judge, within a reasonable time after the termination of the period allowed for the filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions,and orders, and briefs in support thereof, shall prepare upon the basis of the record, and shall file with the hearing clerk, his initial decision, a copy of which shall be served by the hearing clerk, upon each of the parties. Such decision shall become final without further proceedings 35 days after the date of service thereof, unless there is an appeal to the Secretary by a party to the proceeding: Provided, however, That no decision shall be final for the purpose of judicial review except a final decision issued by the Secretary pursuant to an appeal by a party to the proceeding.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 38 FR 29799, Oct. 29, 1973; 67 FR 10830, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.65 Appeals to Secretary: Transmittal of record.

(a) Filing of appeal. Any party who disagrees with a judge’s decision or any part thereof, may appeal the decision to the Secretary by filing an appeal petition with the Hearing Clerk within 30 days after service of said decision upon said party. Each issue set forth in the appeal, and the arguments thereon, shall be separately numbered; shall be plainly and concisely stated; and shall contain detailed citations of the record, statutes, regulations and authorities being relied upon in support thereof. The appeal petition shall be served upon the other party to the proceeding by the hearing clerk.


(b) Argument before Secretary – (1) Oral argument. A party bringing an appeal may request within the prescribed time period for filing such appeal, an opportunity for oral argument before the Secretary. Failure to make such request in writing, within the prescribed time period, shall be deemed a waiver of oral argument. The Secretary, in his discretion, may grant, refuse or limit any request for oral argument on appeal.


(2) Scope of argument. Argument to be heard on appeal, whether oral or in a written brief, shall be limited to the issues raised by the appeal, except that if the Secretary determines that additional issues should be argued, the parties shall be given reasonable notice of such determination, so as to permit preparation of adequate arguments on all the issues to be argued.


(c) Response. Within 20 days after service of an appeal brought by a party to the proceeding, any other party may file a response in support of or in opposition to such appeal.


(d) Transmittal of record. Whenever an appeal is filed by a party to the proceeding, the hearing clerk shall transmit to the Secretary the record of the proceeding. Such record shall include: The pleadings; any motions and requests filed, and the rulings thereon; the transcript of the testimony taken at the hearing, as well as the exhibits filed in connection therewith; any statements filed under the shortened procedure; any documents or papers filed in connection with prehearing conferences; such proposed findings of fact, conclusions, and orders, and briefs in support thereof, as may have been filed in connection with the hearing; the judge’s initial decision; and the appeal petition; briefs in support thereof, and responses thereto as may have been filed in the proceeding.


[38 FR 29799, Oct. 29, 1973, as amended at 67 FR 10830, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.66 Consideration of appeal by the Secretary and issuance of final order.

(a) Consideration of appeal. As soon as practicable after the receipt of the record from the hearing clerk, or, in case oral argument was had, as soon as practicable thereafter, the Secretary, upon the basis of and after due consideration of the record, shall rule on the appeal. If the Secretary decides that no change or modification of the judge’s decision is warranted, he may adopt the Judge’s decision as the final order of the Secretary, preserving any right of the party bringing the appeal to seek judicial review of such decision in the proper forum. At no stage of the proceeding between its institution and the issuance of the order shall the Secretary discuss ex parte the merits of the proceeding with any person who is connected with the proceeding in an advocative or an investigative capacity, or with any representative of such person: Provided, however, That the Secretary may discuss the merits of the proceeding with such a person if all parties to the proceeding, or their representatives, have been given an opportunity to be present. If, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, a memorandum or other communication from any party, or from any person acting on behalf of any party, which relates to the merits of the proceeding, receives the personal attention of the Secretary (or, if an official other than the Secretary is to issue the order, then of such other official) during the pendency of the proceeding, such memorandum or communication shall be regarded as argument made in the proceeding and shall be filed with the hearing clerk, who shall serve a copy thereof upon the opposite party to file a reply thereto.


(b) Issuance of final order. A final order issued by the Secretary shall be filed with the hearing clerk, who shall serve it upon the parties: Provided, That, if the terms of the order differ substantially from those proposed in the decision of the judge, the Secretary shall, if he deems it advisable to do so, direct that a copy of the order be served upon the parties as a tentative order; and, in such event, opportunity shall be given the parties to file exceptions thereto and written arguments or briefs in support of such exceptions. In such case, if exceptions are filed within a period of time (to be fixed by the Secretary but not to exceed 20 days) following the service of the tentative order, the Secretary shall give consideration, to and shall make such changes in the tentative order as he deems to be appropriate; otherwise, the tentative order shall become final, as of the day following the date of expiration of the period fixed for the filing of exceptions.


[38 FR 29799, Oct. 29, 1973]


§ 900.68 Petitions for reopening hearings; for rehearings or rearguments of proceedings; or for reconsideration of orders.

(a) Petition requisite – (1) Filing; service. A petition for reopening the hearing to take further evidence, or for rehearing or reargument of the proceeding, or for reconsideration of the order shall be made by petition addressed to the Secretary and filed with the hearing clerk, who immediately shall notify and serve a copy thereof upon the other party to the proceeding. Every such petition shall state specifically the grounds relied upon.


(2) Petitions to reopen hearings. A petition to reopen the hearing for the purpose of taking additional evidence may be filed at any time prior to the issuance of the final order. Every such petition shall state briefly the nature and purpose of the evidence to be adduced, shall show that such evidence is not merely cumulative, and shall set forth a good reason why such evidence was not adduced at the hearing.


(3) Petitions to rehear or reargue proceedings, or to reconsider orders. A petition to rehear or reargue the proceeding or to reconsider the final order shall be filed within 15 days after the date of the service of such order. Every such petition shall state specifically the matters claimed to have been erroneously decided, and alleged errors must be briefly stated.


(b) Procedure for disposition of petitions. Within 10 days following the service of any petition provided for in this section, the other party to the proceeding shall file with the hearing clerk an answer thereto. As soon as practicable thereafter, the Secretary shall announce the decision granting or denying the petition. Unless the Secretary shall determine otherwise, the issuance or operation of the order shall not be stayed pending the decision of the Secretary upon the petition. In the event that any such petition is granted by the Secretary, the applicable rules of practice, as set out elsewhere in this subpart, shall be followed.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 67 FR 10830, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.69 Filing; service; extensions of time; effective date of filing; and computation of time.

(a) Filing; number of copies. Except as provided otherwise herein, all documents or papers required or authorized in this subpart to be filed with the hearing clerk shall be filed in quadruplicate: Provided, That, if there are more than two parties to the proceeding, a sufficient number of additional copies shall be filed so as to provide for service upon all the parties to the proceeding. Any document or paper, required or authorized in this subpart to be filed with the hearing clerk, shall, during the course of an oral hearing, be filed with the judge.


(b) Service; proof of service. Copies of all such papers shall be served upon the parties by the hearing clerk, by the judge, or by some other employee of the Department or by a United States Marshal or his deputy. Service shall be made either (1) by delivering a copy of the document or paper to the individual to be served or to a member of the partnership to be served or to the president, secretary, or other executive officer or any director of the corporation, organization, or association to be served, or to the attorney or agent of record of such individual, partnership, corporation, organization, or association; or (2) by leaving a copy of the document or paper at the principal office or place of business of such individual, partnership, corporation, organization, or association, or of his or its attorney or agent of record; or (3) by registering and mailing a copy of the document or paper, addressed to such individual, partnership, corporation, organization, or association, or to his or its attorney or agent of record, at his or its last known principal office, place of business, or residence. Proof of service hereunder shall be made by the affidavit of the person who actually made the service. The affidavit contemplated herein shall be filed with the hearing clerk, and the fact of filing thereof shall be noted on the docket of the proceeding.


(c) Extensions of time. The time for the filing of any documents or papers required or authorized in this subpart to be filed may be extended upon (1) a written stipulation between the parties, or (2) upon the request of a party, by the judge before the transmittal of the record to the Secretary, or by the Secretary at any other time if, in the judgment of the Secretary or the judge, as the case may be, there is good reason for the extension.


(d) Effective date of filing. Any document or paper required or authorized in this subpart to be filed shall be deemed to be filed at the time it is received by the Hearing Clerk.


(e) Computation of time. Each day, including Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays, shall be included in computing the time allowed for filing any document or paper: Provided, That when the time for filing a document or paper expires on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal public holiday, the time allowed for filing the document or paper shall be extended to include the following business day.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 67 FR 10830, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.70 Applications for interim relief.

(a) Filing the application. A person who has filed a petition pursuant to § 900.52 may by separate application filed with the hearing clerk apply to the Secretary for an order postponing the effective date of, or suspending the application of, the marketing order or any provision thereof, or any obligation imposed in connection therewith, pending final determination of the proceeding.


(b) Contents of the application. The application shall contain a statement of the facts upon which the relief is requested, including any facts showing irreparable injury. The application must be signed and sworn to by the petitioner and any facts alleged therein which are not within his personal knowledge shall be supported by affidavits of a person or persons having personal knowledge of such facts or by proper documentary evidence thereof.


(c) Answer to application. Immediately upon receipt of the application, the hearing clerk shall transmit a copy thereof, together with all supporting papers, to the Administrator, who shall, within 20 days, or such other time fixed by the Secretary, after the filing of the application file an answer thereto with the hearing clerk.


(d) Contents of answer. The answer shall contain a statement of the objections, if any, of the Administrator to the application for interim relief, and may be supported by affidavits and documentary evidence.


(e) Transmittal to Secretary. Upon receiving the answer of the Administrator or upon the expiration of the time for filing the answer, the hearing clerk shall transmit to the Secretary for his decision all papers filed in connection with the application.


(f) Hearing and oral argument. The Secretary may, in his discretion, permit oral argument or the taking of testimony in connection with such application. However, unless written request therefor is filed with the hearing clerk prior to the transmittal of the papers to the Secretary, the parties shall be deemed to have waived oral argument and the taking of testimony.


(g) Decision by Secretary. The Secretary may grant or deny the application. Any action taken by the Secretary shall be in the form of an order filed with the hearing clerk and shall contain a brief statement of the reasons for the action taken. The hearing clerk shall cause copies of the order to be served upon the parties.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 67 FR 10830, Mar. 11, 2002]


§ 900.71 Hearing before Secretary.

The Secretary may act in the place and stead of a judge in any proceeding hereunder. When he so acts the hearing clerk shall transmit the record to the Secretary at the expiration of the period provided for the filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions and orders, and the Secretary shall thereupon, after due consideration of the record, issue his final order in the proceeding: Provided, That he may issue a tentative order in which event the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to file exceptions before the issuance of the final order.


Subpart E – Supplemental Procedural Requirements for Marketing Orders, Marketing Agreements, and Requirements Covering Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Source:61 FR 20717, May 8, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

§ 900.80 Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.


§ 900.81 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) The term Act means Public Act No. 10, 73 Congress (48 Stat. 31) as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246), as amended.


(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.


(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead.


(d) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead.


(e) The term proceeding means a proceeding before the Secretary arising under sections 8a, 8b(b), 8c(14), 8e, 10(c) and 10(h).


(f) The term hearing means that part of the proceeding which involves the submission of evidence.


(g) The term marketing agreement means any marketing agreement or any amendment thereto which may be entered into pursuant to section 8b of the act.


(h) The term marketing order means any order or any amendment thereto which may be issued pursuant to section 8c of the act, and after notice and hearing as required by said section.


(i) The term handler means any person who, by the terms of a marketing order or marketing agreement, is subject thereto, or to whom a marketing order or marketing agreement is sought to be made applicable.


(j) The term importer means any person who, by the terms of section 8e of the act, is subject thereto.


(k) The term person means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, or any other business unit.


§ 900.82 Stipulation procedures.

The Administrator, or the Administrator’s representative, may, at any time before the issuance of a complaint seeking a civil penalty under the Act, enter into a stipulation with any handler or importer in accordance with the following procedures:


(a) The Administrator, or the Administrator’s representative, shall give the handler or importer notice of the alleged violation of the applicable marketing order or marketing agreement, or the requirements issued pursuant to 7 U.S.C. 608b(b) and 7 U.S.C. 608e, and an opportunity for a hearing thereon as provided by the Act;


(b) In agreeing to the proposed stipulation, the handler or importer expressly waives the opportunity for a hearing and agrees to pay a specified civil penalty within a designated time;


(c) The Administrator, or the Administrator’s representative, agrees to accept the specified civil penalty in settlement of the particular matter involved if it is paid within the designated time;


(d) In cases where the handler or importer does not pay the specified civil penalty within the designated time, or the handler or importer does not agree to the stipulation, the Administrator may issue an administrative complaint; and


(e) The civil penalty that the Administrator may have proposed in a stipulation agreement shall have no bearing on the civil penalty amount that the Department may seek in a formal administrative proceeding against the same handler or importer for the same alleged violation.


§ 900.83 Conducting Meetings via Electronic Communication or Otherwise.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of a marketing order in this part, administrative bodies of fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders, and their committees/subcommittees may, upon due notice to all members and the public:


(a) Conduct meetings by any means of communication available, electronic or otherwise, that effectively assembles members and the public, and facilitates open communication.


(b) Vote by any means of communication available, electronic or otherwise; Provided, That votes cast are verifiable and that quorum and other procedural requirements of each respective marketing order are met.


(c) With the approval of the Secretary, each administrative body may prescribe any additional procedures necessary to carry out the objectives of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.


[83 FR 22832, May 17, 2018]


Subpart F – Procedure Governing Meetings To Arbitrate and Mediate Disputes Relating to Sales of Milk or Its Products


Authority:Sec. 3, 50 Stat. 248; 7 U.S.C. 671.

§ 900.100 Words in the singular form.

Words in this subpart in the singular form shall be deemed to import the plural, and vice versa, as the case may demand.


§ 900.101 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) The term act means section 3 of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (50 Stat. 248, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 671);


(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture;


(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead;


(d) The term General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Department;


(e) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead;


(f) The term Service means the Agricultural Marketing Service;


(g) The term Division means the Dairy Division of the Service;


(h) The term cooperative means any association, incorporated or otherwise, which is in good faith owned or controlled by producers, or organizations thereof, of milk or its products, and which is bona fide engaged in the collective processing or preparing for market or handling or marketing, in the current of interstate or foreign commerce, of milk or its products;


(i) The term arbitrator means any officer or employee of the Service designated by the Administrator, pursuant to the act, to arbitrate a bona fide dispute with reference to the terms and conditions of the sale of milk or its products between a producer cooperative and purchasers, handlers, processors, or distributors of milk or its products;


(j) The term mediator means any officer or employee of the Service designated by the Administrator, pursuant to the act, to mediate a bona fide dispute with reference to terms and conditions of the sale of milk or its products between a producer cooperative and purchasers, handlers, processors, or distributors of milk or its products;


(k) The term hearing clerk means the hearing clerk, United States Departent of Agriculture, Washington, DC.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 26 FR 7797, Aug. 22, 1961; 28 FR 579, Jan. 23, 1963; 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972]


§ 900.102 Filing of applications for mediation or arbitration.

All applications for mediation or arbitration, all submissions, and all correspondence regarding mediation or arbitration shall be addressed to the Secretary, attention of the Division.


§ 900.103 Application for mediation.

An application for mediation by a cooperative, shall be in writing and shall include the following information:


(a) Names in full of the parties to the dispute and their addresses;


(b) Description of the cooperative organization and business, including copies of the articles of incorporation or association, by-laws, and membership contract; information regarding the number of shares of outstanding stock and the approximate portion owned by active producers; a statement of the function performed in connection with the collective processing, preparing, handling, or marketing of milk or its products; and data relative to the distribution of membership by States, the distribution by States of plant facilities for collecting, processing, or disposing of milk or its products, and the business operations for the year last past, including the total quantity of milk and its products handled by the applicant and the proportion of that quantity that was sold in States other than the States of production;


(c) Suggested time and place for meeting between parties and mediator.


§ 900.104 Inquiry by the Administrator.

Upon receipt of an application for mediation, the Administrator, through such officers or employees of the Service as he may designate, may make any inquiry which is deemed to be necessary or proper in order to determine whether a bona fide dispute exists.


§ 900.105 Notification.

The Administrator, acting on behalf of the Secretary will notify the applicant as to whether he considers that mediation will effectuate the purpose of the act and as to whether he will mediate.


§ 900.106 Assignment of mediator.

The Director of the Division shall assign a mediator, from the group designated by the Administrator, to act in such capacity.


§ 900.107 Meetings.

All meetings held pursuant to §§ 900.103 to 900.109 shall be held with and under the direction of the mediator.


§ 900.108 Mediator’s report.

The mediator, upon the completion of mediation proceedings, shall submit to the Administrator a complete report on such proceedings.


§ 900.109 Mediation agreement.

An agreement arrived at by mediation shall not become effective until approved by the Secretary, and the Secretary will not approve an agreement if there is evidence of fraud, if there is a lack of evidence to support the agreement, or if the agreement provides for any unfair trade practice.


§ 900.110 Application for arbitration.

An application for arbitration by a cooperative shall be in writing and shall contain the following information:


(a) Names in full of the parties to the dispute and their addresses;


(b) The same information required under § 900.103(b);


(c) Concise statement of dispute to be submitted;


(d) Originals or certified copies of all contracts, if any, involved in the dispute, and of correspondence which has passed between the parties and of any other documents or information relied upon;


(e) Dates before which it is desired that the hearing shall be had and the award shall become effective;


(f) Suggested time and place for arbitration hearing.


The applicant shall send a copy of the application to each other party to the dispute.


§ 900.111 Inquiry by the Administrator.

Upon receipt of an application for arbitration, the Administrator, through such officers or employees of the Service as he may designate, may make any inquiry deemed to be necessary or proper in order to determine whether a bona fide dispute exists, to assist the parties in reducing the dispute to well-defined issues, and to select an arbitrator who would be satisfactory to all parties.


§ 900.112 Notification.

The Administrator, acting on behalf of the Secretary, within a reasonable time after the receipt of an application, will notify the applicant as to whether he will grant the application.


§ 900.113 Submission.

(a)(1) Within a reasonable time after the receipt of the Administrator’s consent to arbitrate, the parties to the dispute shall file with the Administrator a formal submission, which shall contain the following information:


(i) Names in full of the parties;


(ii) Addresses of the parties to whom all notifications and communications concerning the arbitration shall be sent;


(iii) Description of the organization and businesses of all parties to the dispute, including sufficient information to show that the cooperative is a bona fide one, and that the parties are engaged in activities in the current of interstate or foreign commerce;


(iv) Concise statement of the specific questions submitted and a brief outline of the contentions of each party to the dispute, and a statement as to the period of time during which the award shall be in effect, said period to be not less than thirty days from the effective date of the award;


(v) Name of arbitrator;


(vi) Time and place of arbitration, including street address;


(vii) Stipulation by the parties that they will produce any books, records, and correspondence required by the arbitrator as being necessary to a fair determination of the dispute;


(viii) Agreement by the parties that they will consider the award as final and will comply therewith;


(ix) Stipulation by the parties that arbitration is to take place under rules and regulations issued by the Secretary, and that any such rules and regulations pertaining to mediation and arbitration shall be considered a part of the submission;


(x) Stipulation that a stenographic report of the proceedings must be made.


(2) The submission shall be signed by each party before a notary public, and when the signature is that of an agent of a corporation or cooperative association, the same shall be accompanied by evidence of the authority to sign.


(3) A submission may be withdrawn at any time before the award, and any question held by the arbitrator to be a separable question may be withdrawn before award by agreement of all parties. When any question is so withdrawn, the parties shall file with the arbitrator the agreement on that question reached by the parties, showing all the details thereof, and the arbitrator shall include it in the record of the arbitration.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 900.114 Designation of arbitrator.

The Administrator, after receiving the submission, will designate one or more persons to act as arbitrator.


§ 900.115 Hearing.

(a) The arbitrator shall have full discretion to conduct the hearing in such manner as will, in his opinion, enable him to ascertain all the facts in the case.


(b) Parties to the dispute may appear in person or by duly accredited agents and may be represented by counsel.


(c) All relevant and material evidence may be presented. The arbitrator shall not be bound by the legal rules of evidence.


(d) The arbitrator, in the presence of the parties, may require the production of books and records for examination by himself, but not for examination of confidential information by other parties to the dispute unless the party producing the same consents to its examination by the other parties to the dispute.


(e) No evidence offered by one party shall be received except in the presence of all parties unless the parties so agree in a submission specifying the nature of the evidence to be received.


(f) Final determination as to what will be considered confidential information shall be made by the arbitrator.


(g) The arbitrator may request the opinions of economists, marketing specialists, statisticians, lawyers, accountants, and other experts.


(h) When more than two arbitrators are designated to hear a dispute, and they disagree, the award of the majority shall be the final award. If the arbitrators are evenly divided, there shall be no award.


(i) A stenographic record of all the proceedings during an arbitration must be made.


§ 900.116 Award.

(a) An award shall be made within ten days after the close of the hearing.


(1) The award shall be in writing and shall cover only points of dispute raised in the submission.


(2) The arbitrator, in making the award, may use his own technical knowledge in addition to the evidence submitted by the parties.


(3) The award shall state the period during which it shall be in effect, said period to be not less than thirty days from the effective date thereof; and said period may be extended by agreement among the parties upon notification thereof to the Administrator, unless or until the Administrator withdraws his approval.


(4) The arbitrator shall sign the award in the presence of a notary public, or, when more than one arbitrator is designated the arbitrator shall sign in the presence of each other.


(5) Copies of the award shall be delivered to the parties by the Division.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 900.117 Approval of award.

The award shall not become effective until approved by the Secretary, and the Secretary will not approve an award if there is evidence of fraud, or evidence of misconduct upon the part of the arbitrator, or lack of evidence to support the award, or if the award provides for any unfair trade practice.


§ 900.118 Costs.

The parties jointly shall pay for the stenographic record. A copy of the record shall be furnished by the parties to the arbitrator and shall be forwarded by him to the Administrator, ultimately to be filed in the office of the hearing clerk. The arbitrator shall not receive compensation for parties to the dispute.


Subpart G – Miscellaneous Requirements


Authority:Sec. 10, 48 Stat. 37, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 610.

§ 900.200 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the terms as defined in the Act shall apply with equal force and effect. In addition, unless the context otherwise requires:


(a) The term Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (48 Stat. 31), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246, 7 U.S.C. 601), as amended;


(b) The term Department means the United States Department of Agriculture;


(c) The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead;


(d) The term General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Department;


(e) The term Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead.


(f) The term mail means to transmit either electronically or through a postal or other delivery system, information or a package (e.g., letter or envelope) to a recipient.


(g) The term Federal Register means the publication provided for by the Act of July 26, 1935 (49 Stat. 500), and Acts supplementary thereto and amendatory thereof;


(h) The term marketing agreement means any marketing agreement or any amendment thereto which may be entered into pursuant to section 8b of the Act;


(i) The term marketing order means any order or any amendment thereto which may be issued pursuant to section 8c of the Act;


(j) The term person means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, or any other business unit;


(k) The term official means the Secretary, any officer, employee, or other person employed or appointed by the Department, and any agency or agent appointed by the Secretary to administer a marketing agreement or a marketing order, and any agent or employee of any such agency or agent;


(l) The term information means and includes reports, books, accounts, records, and the facts and information contained therein and required to be furnished to or acquired by any official pursuant to the provisions of any marketing agreement or marketing order.


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 26 FR 7796, Aug. 22, 1961; 28 FR 579, Jan. 23, 1963; 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972; 83 FR 27682, June 14, 2018]


§ 900.201 Investigation and disposition of alleged violations.

Whenever the Administrator has reason to believe that any handler has violated, or is violating, the provisions of any marketing order, he may institute such investigation and, after due notice to such handler, conduct such hearing in order to determine the facts as, in his opinion, are warranted. If, in the opinion of the Administrator and the General Counsel, the facts developed as a result of such investigation or hearing warrant such action, the General Counsel shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for appropriate action.


§ 900.202 Restrictions applicable to Committee personnel.

Members and employees of Federal marketing order boards and committees are immune from prosecution under the United States antitrust laws only insofar as their conduct in administering the respective marketing order is authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 7 U.S.C. 601-674, or the provisions of the respective order. Under the antitrust laws, Committee members and employees may not engage in any unauthorized agreement or concerted action that unreasonably restrains United States domestic or foreign commerce. For example, Committee members and employees have no authority to participate, either directly or indirectly, whether on an informal or formal, written or oral basis, in any bilateral or international undertaking or agreement with any competing foreign producer or seller or with any foreign government, agency, or instrumentality acting on behalf of competing foreign producers or sellers to raise, fix, stabilize, or set a floor for commodity prices, or limit the quantity or quality of commodity imported into or exported from the United States. Participation in any such unauthorized agreement or joint undertaking could result in prosecution under the antitrust laws by the United States Department of Justice and/or suit by injured private persons seeking treble damages, and could also result in expulsion of members from the Committee or termination of employment with the Committee.


[80 FR 45396, July 30, 2015]


§ 900.210 Disclosures of information.

All information in the possession of any official which relates to the business or property of any person, and which was furnished by, or obtained from, such person pursuant to the provisions of any marketing agreement or marketing order, shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed, divulged, or made public, unless otherwise expressly provided in said marketing agreement or marketing order, or unless said person authorizes said official, in writing, to disclose such information, except that:


(a) Such information may be disclosed, divulged, or made public if it has been obtained from or furnished by a person who is not the person to whose business or property such information relates or an employee of such latter person, or if such information is otherwise required by law to be furnished to an official;


(b) Such information may be furnished to other officials for use in the regular course of their official duties;


(c) Such information may be combined and published in the form of general statistical studies or data in which the identity of the person furnishing such information or from whom it was obtained shall not be disclosed;


(d) Such information may be disclosed upon lawful demand made by the President or by either House of Congress or any committee thereof, or, if the Secretary determines that such disclosure is not contrary to the public interest, such information may be disclosed in response to a subpena by any court of competent jurisdiction.


(e) Such information may be offered in evidence (whether or not it has been obtained from or furnished by the person against whom it is offered) by or on behalf of the Secretary, the United States, or the official who obtained it or to whom it was furnished, in any administrative hearing held pursuant to section 8c(15)(A) of the Act or in any action, suit, or proceeding, civil or criminal, in which the Secretary or the United States or any such official is a party, and:


(1) Which is instituted (i) for the purpose of enforcing or restraining the violation of any marketing agreement or marketing order, or (ii) for the purpose of collecting any penalty or forfeiture provided for in the Act, or (iii) for the purpose of collecting any monies due under a marketing agreement or marketing order, or


(2) In which the validity of any marketing agreement or marketing order, or any provision of either, is challenged or involved.


(f) Such information may be furnished to the duly constituted authorities of any State, pursuant to a written agreement made under authority of section 10(i) of the Act, to the extent that such information is relevant to transactions within the regulatory jurisdiction of such authorities.


§ 900.211 Penalties.

Any official who shall have violated the provisions of § 900.210 by wilfully divulging, disclosing, or making public any information acquired by or furnished to or in the possession or custody of such official pursuant to the provisions of a marketing agreement or marketing order shall be subject to a penalty of the amount specified at § 3.91(b)(1) (viii) of this title for each offense. (The civil penalty provided in this section is prescribed under the authority contained in sec. 10(c) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 610(c)); this provision is not intended to supersede the provision in section 8d(2) of the Act (7 U.S.C. 608d(2)) for criminal liability and removal from office.)


[25 FR 5907, June 28, 1960, as amended at 75 FR 17560, Apr. 7, 2010]


Subpart H – Procedure for Conduct of Referenda To Determine Producer Approval of Milk Marketing Orders To Be Made Effective Pursuant to Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended


Authority:Secs. 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Source:30 FR 15412, Dec. 15, 1965, unless otherwise noted.

§ 900.300 General.

Unless otherwise prescribed, the procedure contained in this subpart shall be applicable to each producer referendum conducted for the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance by the Secretary of a milk marketing order is approved or favored, as required under the applicable provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (48 Stat. 31, as amended, 7 U.S.C. 601-674). The procedure in this subpart replaces the procedure for conducting similar referenda (15 FR 5177) issued August 7, 1950.


§ 900.301 Definitions.

As used in this subpart and in all supplementary instructions, forms, and documents, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the following meanings:


(a) Act. Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (48 Stat. 31), as amended, and as re-enacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246), as amended.


(b) Department. Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.


(c) Secretary. Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead.


(d) Administrator. Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead.


(e) Person. Person includes any individual, partnership, corporation, association, and any other business unit.


(f) Order. Order means the marketing order (including an amendatory order) with respect to which the Secretary has directed that a referendum be conducted.


(g) Producer. Producer means any person who is a dairy farmer and who, during the representative period, met the requirements of the term producer as defined in the order had such order been in effect during the representative period.


(h) Handler. Handler means any person who, during the representative period, met the requirements of the term handler as defined in the order had such order been in effect during the representative period.


(i) Referendum agent. Referendum agent means the person designated by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.


(j) Representative period. Representative period means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 8c of the Act (7 U.S.C. 608c).


(k) Cooperative association. Cooperative association means any association of producers that the administrator has found to be qualified pursuant to section 608c(12) of the Act.


[30 FR 15412, Dec. 15, 1965, as amended at 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972]


§ 900.302 Associations eligible to vote.

(a) Any association of producers, not previously determined to be a cooperative association may file an application for a determination as to whether it is a cooperative association and thus eligible to vote in a referendum. Such application shall be filed with the Administrator at least 60 days prior to the holding of the referendum: Provided, however, That the Administrator may permit the filing of an application in less than 60 days when, in the opinion of the Administrator, such filing would not delay the conduct of the referendum.


(b) Within a time fixed by the referendum agent, but not later than 5 days prior to the final date for balloting, each cooperative association electing to vote shall, upon the request of the referendum agent, furnish to him a certified list showing the name and address of each producer for whom it claims the right to vote and the plant at which such person’s milk was received during the representative period.


§ 900.303 Conduct of referendum.

The referendum shall be conducted by mail in the manner prescribed in this subpart. The referendum agent may utilize such personnel or agencies of the Department as are deemed necessary by the Administrator.


§ 900.304 Who may vote.

(a) Each producer shall be entitled to only one vote and to cast one ballot in each referendum; and no person who may claim to be a producer shall be refused a ballot. Each producer casting more than one ballot with conflicting votes shall thereby invalidate all ballots cast by such producer in such referendum. Each ballot cast shall contain a certification by the person casting the ballot that he is a producer.


(b) Except as provided in section 8c(5)(B) of the act, as amended, any cooperative association eligible under § 900.302 may, if it elects to do so, vote and cast one ballot for producers who are members of, stockholders in, or under contract with, such cooperative association. A cooperative association shall submit, with its ballot, a certified copy of the resolution authorizing the casting of the ballot. Each such cooperative association entitled to vote in a referendum casting more than one ballot with conflicting votes shall thereby invalidate all ballots cast by such voter in such referendum.


(c) Voting by proxy or agent, or in any manner, except by the producer or cooperative association will not be permitted; however, a producer which is other than an individual may cast its ballot by a person who is duly authorized and such ballot shall contain a certification by such person that the person on whose behalf the ballot is cast is a producer.


§ 900.305 Duties of referendum agent.

The referendum agent shall also:


(a) For purposes of mailing, prepare a record of producers which will disclose the name of each such person, his address, the name of the handler who received the producer’s milk during the representative period, and the name of the cooperative association, if any, which claims the right to vote for the producer. Such record may be compiled from readily available sources, including the following:


(1) Records of the Department;


(2) Producer records supplied by handlers;


(3) Health authority records;


(4) Certifications signed by dairy farmers who claim to be producers;


(5) Any other reliable sources of information which may be available to the referendum agent.


(b) Apply, as a guide, the following criteria in preparing a record of producers:


(1) When the order requires approval by an appropriate health authority before a person meets the definition of producer, only those persons having such approval and who otherwise meet the definition may be regarded as producers. When the definition of producer requires the shipment of milk to a handler or a plant as well as health authority approval, only those persons having such approval and whose milk was received by a handler or at a plant may be regarded as producers.


(2) When the order requries shipment to a handler or to a plant, without regard to health authority approval, a person may not be regarded as a producer, except as provided in paragraph (b)(6) of this section, unless his name appears on the handler’s producer records.


(3) In the case of a producer that is other than an individual, the business unit shall be regarded as the producer.


(4) No person may be included in the record more than once although he may operate more than one farm, hold more than one health authority approval, or appear on more than one handler’s producer records.


(5) In the event the health authority records are not available, are inaccurate, or are incomplete, the appearance of the producer’s name on a handler’s records as an approved producer shall be prima facie evidence of health authority approval.


(6) In the event any handler refuses or fails to make his records available to the referendum agent, a certification signed by the producer shall be regarded by the referendum agent as prima facie evidence that such person is eligible to vote.


(c) Verify the information supplied by each cooperative association which wishes to vote on behalf of producers, as follows:


(1) Examine the records of the cooperative association for the purpose of ascertaining whether each producer claimed by the cooperative association is a member of, stockholder in, or under contract with the cooperative association.


(2) Identify the persons ascertained to be members of, stockholders in, or under contract with a cooperative association which wishes to vote on behalf of its producers with the names of producers which appear on the record compiled pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section.


(3) In determining whether a cooperative association may vote on behalf of a producer the following criteria shall be used:


(i) The cooperative association may vote for each producer who is a member of, stockholder in, or under contract with such cooperative association on the date of the order directing that the referendum be conducted.


(ii) The cooperative association may cast only one ballot for all such producers.


(iii) Whenever more than one cooperative association claims the right to vote for a producer only the cooperative association which furnished evidence satisfactory to the referendum agent that such association was in fact marketing the milk of the producer on the date of the referendum order may vote for such producer.


§ 900.306 Notice of the referendum.

(a) The referendum agent shall at least 5 days prior to the final date for balloting:


(1) Mail to each cooperative association which has elected to cast a ballot on behalf of its producers and to each of all other known producers, a notice of the referendum which will include instructions for completing the ballot, a statement as to the time within which the ballot must be mailed to, and received by, the referendum agent, a copy of the final decision, and a ballot containing a description of the terms and conditions of the order.


(2) Give public notice of the referendum:


(i) By furnishing press releases and other information to available media of public information (including but not limited to press, radio, and television facilities) serving the area, announcing the time within which ballots must be completed and mailed to and received by the referendum agent, eligibility requirements, where additional information may be procured, and other pertinent information; and


(ii) By such other means as said agent may deem advisable.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 900.307 Time for voting.

There shall be no voting except within the time specified by the referendum agent as stated in the notice of the referendum.


§ 900.308 Tabulation of ballots.

(a) General. The referendum agent shall verify the information supplied with each ballot. If he ascertains that the person who cast the ballot was eligible to do so, that the ballot is complete and was mailed and received within the prescribed time, the ballot shall be eligible to be counted. If the referendum agent ascertains that the person who cast the ballot was not eligible to do so, or if the producer who cast the ballot was a member of, stockholder in, or under contract with a cooperative association which cast a valid ballot, or if the ballot is not completed or cast in accordance with instructions, or if the ballot was not mailed to or received by the referendum agent within the prescribed time, the ballot shall be marked “disqualified” with a notation on the ballot as to the reason for the disqualification. The total number of ballots cast, including the disqualified ballots, shall be ascertained. The number of eligible ballots cast approving and the number of eligible ballots cast disapproving the issuance of the order shall also be ascertained. The ballots marked “disqualified” shall not be considered as approving or disapproving the issuance of the order, and the persons who cast such ballots shall not be regarded as participating in the referendum.


(b) Individual-handler pool provisions. Whenever separate approval of the pooling provisions of the order is required by section 608c(5)(B)(i) of the act, any ballot which approves the issuance of the order and disapproves the pooling provisions, or approves the pooling provisions and disapproves the issuance of the order, shall be disqualified; and the referendum agent shall mark the ballot accordingly.


(c) Record of results of the referendum. The referendum agent shall notify the Administrator of the number of eligible ballots cast, the count of the votes, the number of disqualified ballots and the number of producers who were eligible to cast ballots. The referendum agent shall seal the ballots, including those marked “disqualified”, the list of eligible voters and tabulation of ballots, and shall transmit to the Administrator a complete detailed report of all action taken in connection with the referendum together with all the ballots cast and all other information furnished to or compiled by the referendum agent.


(d) Announcement of the results of the referendum. Announcement of the results of the referendum will be made only at the direction of the Secretary. The referendum agent, or others who assist in the referendum, shall not disclose the results of the referendum or the total number of ballots cast.


§ 900.309 Confidential information.

The ballots cast, the identity of any person who voted, or the manner in which any person voted and all information furnished to, compiled by, or in the possession of the referendum agent, shall be regarded as confidential.


§ 900.310 Supplementary instructions.

The Administrator is authorized to issue instructions and to prescribe forms and ballots, not inconsistent with the provisions of this subpart, to govern the conduct of referenda by referendum agents.


§ 900.311 Submittals or requests.

Interested persons may secure information or make submittals or requests to the Administrator with respect to the provisions contained in this subpart.


Subpart I – Procedure for Determining the Qualification of Cooperative Milk Marketing Associations


Authority:Secs. 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Source:32 FR 9821, July 6, 1967, unless otherwise noted.

§ 900.350 General statement.

Cooperative marketing associations apply for qualification by the Secretary under the Federal milk order program for certain privileges and exemptions. These privileges and exemptions are expressed in the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246) as amended, and the milk marketing orders issued pursuant to its provisions.


§ 900.351 Applications for qualification.

Any association of producers may apply for determinations as to whether it is a qualified cooperative association with authority to represent producers in order referendums; has authorization to collect payment from handlers for members’ milk; and is rendering specified marketing services to producers. Applicant associations should supply information for these determinations, using as a guide Application Form DA-25. The application form may be obtained from the Dairy Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. Determinations required of the Secretary of Agriculture, or the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, by delegation are made by the Director of the Dairy Division. Once issued they are valid until amended, suspended or terminated.


§ 900.352 Confidential information.

The documents and other information submitted by an applicant association and otherwise obtained by investigation, examination of books, documents, papers, records, files and facilities, and in reports filed subsequent to initial determinations of qualification, shall be regarded as confidential and shall be governed by § 900.210.


§ 900.353 Qualification standards.

Statutory requirements for qualification of coopertive associations are provided in subsections (5) and (12) of section 608c of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). The association must: (a) Be a cooperative marketing association of producers, qualified under the provisions of the Act of Congress of February 18, 1922, as amended, known as the “Capper-Volstead Act,” (7 U.S.C. 291, 292); (b) have its entire organization and all of its activities under the control of its members; (c) have full authority in the sale of its members’ milk; and (d) be engaged in making collective sales or marketing of milk or milk products for the producers thereof. Qualification for exemption from deductions for marketing service payments under specific marketing orders and payment for milk of members under specific orders shall be determined in accordance with the terms of the respective marketing orders.


§ 900.354 Inspection and investigation.

The Secretary of Agriculture, or his duly authorized representative, shall have the right, at any time after an application is received, to examine all books, documents, papers, records, files and facilities of the association, to verify any of the information submitted and to procure such other information as may be required to determine whether the association is qualified in accordance with its application.


§ 900.355 Annual reporting.

Determinations of qualification for privileges and exemptions are subject to amendment, termination or suspension if the association does not currently meet the qualification standards. An association found to be qualified pursuant to the Act is required to file an annual report after its annual meeting has been held following the close of its fiscal year. Form DA-24 is used for this purpose. The report form is available at the Dairy Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250. The association is required to file a copy of its report with the Dairy Division at Washington and with the market administrator of each order under which it operates.


§ 900.356 Listing of qualified associations.

A copy of each determination of qualification is furnished to the respective association. Copies are also filed in the Dairy Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, and with the Hearing Clerk, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, where they are available for public inspection. A list of qualified associations engaged in marketing milk under a particular milk marketing order is maintained at the office of the market administrator of the order.


§ 900.357 Denial of application; suspension or revocation of determination of qualification.

Any cooperative association whose application has been wholly or partially denied, or whose determination of qualification has been wholly or partly revoked or suspended, may petition the Secretary for a review of such action. Such petition shall state facts relevant to the matter for which review is sought. After due notice to such cooperative association, the Director of the Dairy Division, or in his absence the Acting Director, shall hold, in the manner hereinafter specified, an informal hearing.


(a) Notice. Notice shall be given in writing and shall be mailed to the last known address of the association, or of an officer thereof, at least 3 days before the date set for a hearing. Such notice shall contain: A statement of the time and place of the hearing, said place to be as convenient to the association as can reasonably be arranged, and may contain a statement of the reason for calling the hearing and the nature of the questions upon which evidence is desired or upon which argument may be presented.


(b) Parties. Hearings are not to be public and are to be attended only by representatives of the association and of the Government, and such other persons as either the association or the Government desires to have appear for purposes of submitting information or as counsel.


(c) Conduct of hearing. The Director or Acting Director of the Dairy Division, or a person designated by him, shall preside at the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in such manner as will be most conducive to the proper disposition of the matter. Written statements or briefs may be filed by the association within the time specified by the presiding officer.


(d) Preliminary report. The presiding officer shall prepare a preliminary report setting forth a recommendation as to what action shall be taken and the basis for such action. A copy of said report shall be served upon the association by mail or in person. The association may file exceptions to said report within 10 days after service thereof.


(e) Final report. After due consideration of all the facts and the exceptions, if any, the Director of the Dairy Division shall issue a final report setting forth the action to be taken and the basis for such action.


Subpart J – Procedure for the Conduct of Referenda in Connection With Marketing Orders for Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as Amended


Authority:Secs. 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Source:30 FR 15414, Dec. 15, 1965, unless otherwise noted.

§ 900.400 General.

Referenda for the purpose of ascertaining whether the issuance by the Secretary of Agriculture of a marketing order to regulate the handling of any fruit, vegetable, or nut, or product thereof, or the continuance or termination of such an order, is approved or favored by producers or processors shall, unless supplemented or modified by the Secretary, be conducted in accordance with this subpart.


§ 900.401 Definitions.

(a) Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (48 Stat. 31), as amended, and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 246), as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674).


(b) Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead; and Department means the United States Department of Agriculture.


(c) Administrator means the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service, with power to redelegate, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has been delegated or may hereafter be delegated to act in his stead.


(d) Order means the marketing order (including an amendatory order) with respect to which the Secretary has directed that a referendum be conducted.


(e) Referendum agent means the individual or individuals designated by the Secretary to conduct the referendum.


(f) Representative period means the period designated by the Secretary pursuant to section 8c of the act (7 U.S.C. 608c).


(g) Person means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business unit. For the purpose of this definition, the term partnership includes (1) a husband and wife who have title to, or leasehold interest in, land as tenants in common, joint tenants, tenants by the entirety, or, under community property laws, as community property, and (2) so-called joint ventures, wherein one or more parties to the agreement, informal or otherwise, contributed capital and others contribute labor, management, equipment, or other services, or any variation of such contributions by two or more parties, so that it results in the growing of the commodity for market and the authority to transfer title to the commodity so produced.


(h) Producer means any person defined as a producer in the order who: (1) Owns and farms land, resulting in his ownership of the commodity produced thereon; (2) Rents and farms land, resulting in his ownership of all or a portion of the commodity produced thereon; or (3) Owns land which he does not farm and, as rental for such land, obtains the ownership of a portion of the commodity produced thereon. Ownership of, or leasehold interest in, land and the acquisition, in any manner other than as hereinbefore set forth, of legal title to the commodity grown thereon shall not be deemed to result in such owners or lessees becoming producers.


[30 FR 15414, Dec. 15, 1965, as amended at 37 FR 8059, Apr. 25, 1972]


§ 900.402 Voting.

(a) Each person who is a producer, as defined in this subpart, at the time of the referendum and who also was a producer during the representative period, shall be entitled to only one vote in the referendum, except that: (1) In a landlord-tenant relationship, where in each of the parties is a producer, each such producer shall be entitled to one vote in the referendum; and (2) a cooperative association of producers, bona fide engaged in marketing the commodity or product thereof proposed to be regulated, or in rendering services for or advancing the interest of the producers of such commodity or product, may, if it elects to do so, vote, both by number and total volume, for the producers who are members of, stockholders in, or under contract with such association.


(b) Whenever, as required by the act, processors vote on the issuance of an order, each processor who is engaged in canning or freezing within the production area of the commodity covered by the order shall be entitled to vote in the referendum the quantity of such commodity canned or frozen within the production area for market by him during the representative period determined by the Secretary.


(c) Proxy voting is not authorized but an officer or employee of a corporate producer, processor or cooperative association, or an administrator, executor or trustee of a producing estate may cast a ballot on behalf of such producer, processor, estate, or cooperative association. Any individual so voting in a referendum shall certify that he is an officer or employee of the producer, processor, or cooperative association, or an administrator, executor, or trustee of a producing estate, and that he has the authority to take such action. Upon request of the referendum agent, the individual shall submit adequate evidence of such authority.


(d) Each producer, cooperative association of producers, and processor entitled to vote in a referendum shall be entitled to cast one ballot in the referendum. Each producer, cooperative association of producers, and processor casting more than one ballot with conflicting votes shall thereby invalidate all ballots cast by such producer, cooperative association of producers, or processor in such referendum.


§ 900.403 Instructions.

The referendum agent shall conduct the referendum, in the manner herein provided, under supervision of the Administrator. The Administrator may prescribe additional instructions, not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, to govern the procedure to be followed by the referendum agent. Such agent shall:


(a) Determine the time of commencement and termination of the period of the referendum, and the time prior to which all ballots must be cast.


(b) Determine whether ballots may be cast by mail, at polling places, at meetings of producers or processors, or by any combination of the foregoing.


(c) Provide ballots and related material to be used in the referendum. Ballot material shall provide for recording essential information for ascertaining:


(1) Whether the person voting, or on whose behalf the vote is cast, is an eligible voter, and


(2) The total volume (i) produced for market during the representative period, or (ii) canned or frozen for market during the representative period.


(d) Give reasonable advance notice of the referendum (1) by utilizing without advertising expense available media of public information (including, but not being limited to, press and radio facilities) serving the production area, announcing the dates, places, or methods of voting, eligibility requirements, and other pertinent information, and (2) by such other means as said agent may deem advisable.


(e) Make available to producers and the aforesaid cooperative associations which indicate to the agent their intentions to vote, and to processors when required, instructions on voting, appropriate ballot and certification forms, and, except in the case of a referendum on the termination or continuance of an order, the text of the proposed order and a summary of its terms and conditions: Provided, That no person who claims to be qualified to vote shall be refused a ballot.


(f) If ballots are to be cast by mail, cause all the material specified in paragraph (e) of this section to be mailed to each producer (and processor when required) whose name and address is known to the referendum agent.


(g) If ballots are to be cast at polling places or meetings, determine the necessary number of polling or meeting places, designate them, announce the time of each meeting or the hours during which each polling place will be open, provide the material specified in paragraph (e) of this section, and provide for appropriate custody of ballot forms and delivery to the referendum agent of ballots cast.


(h) At the conclusion of the referendum, canvass the ballots, tabulate the results, and, except as otherwise directed, report the outcome to the Administrator and promptly thereafter submit the following:


(1) All ballots received by the agent and appointees, together with a certificate to the effect that the ballots forwarded are all of the ballots cast and received by such persons during the referendum period;


(2) A list of all challenged ballots deemed to be invalid; and


(3) A tabulation of the results of the referendum and a report thereon, including a detailed statement explaining the method used in giving publicity to the referendum and showing other information pertinent to the manner in which the referendum was conducted.


§ 900.404 Subagents.

The referendum agent may appoint any person or persons deemed necessary or desirable to assist said agent in performing his functions hereunder. Each person so appointed may be authorized by said agent to perform, in accordance with the requirements herein set forth, any or all of the following functions (which, in the absence of such appointment, shall be performed by said agent):


(a) Give public notice of the referendum in the manner specified herein;


(b) Preside at a meeting where ballots are to be cast or as poll officer at a polling place;


(c) Distribute ballots and the aforesaid texts to producers (and to processors when required) and receive any ballots which are cast; and


(d) Record the name and address of each person receiving a ballot from, or casting a ballot with, said subagent and inquire into the eligibility of such person to vote in the referendum.


§ 900.405 Ballots.

The referendum agent and his appointees shall accept all ballots cast; but, should they, or any of them, deem that a ballot should be challenged for any reason, said agent or appointee shall endorse above his signature, on said ballot, a statement to the effect that such ballot was challenged, by whom challenged, the reasons therefor, the results of any investigations made with respect thereto, and the disposition thereof. Invalid ballots shall not be counted.


§ 900.406 Referendum report.

Except as otherwise directed, the Administrator shall prepare and submit to the Secretary a report on results of the referendum, the manner in which it was conducted, the extent and kind of public notice given, and other information pertinent to analysis of the referendum and its results.


§ 900.407 Confidential information.

All ballots cast and the contents thereof (whether or not relating to the identity of any person who voted or the manner in which any person voted) and all information furnished to, compiled by, or in possession of, the referendum agent shall be treated as confidential.


Subpart K – Public Information


Authority:5 U.S.C. 301, 552.

Availability of Program Information, Staff Manuals and Instructions, and Related Material

§ 900.500 General.

This subpart is issued in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture in part 1, subpart A, of subtitle A of this title (7 CFR 1.1 through 1.16), and appendix A thereto, implementing the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552). The Secretary’s regulations, as implemented by the regulations of this subpart, govern the availability of records of AMS to the public.


[40 FR 20267, May 9, 1975]


§ 900.501 Public inspection and copying.

(a) Facilities for public inspection and copying of the indexes and materials required to be made available under § 1.2(a) of this title will be provided by AMS during normal information should be made to the Freedom of Information Act Officer at the following address:



Freedom of Information Act Officer, Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.

(b) Copies of such material may be obtained in person or by mail. Applicable fees for copies will be charged in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the Director, Office of Operations and Finance, USDA.


[44 FR 39151, July 5, 1979]


§ 900.502 Indexes.

Pursuant to the regulations in § 1.4(b) of this title, AMS will maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current indexes of all material required to be made available in § 1.2(a) of this title. Notice is hereby given that publication of these indexes is unnecessary and impractical, since the material is voluminous and does not change often enough to justify the expense of publication.


[44 FR 39151, July 5, 1979]


§ 900.503 Request for records.

(a) Requests for records under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(3) shall be made in accordance with § 1.3(a) of this title. Authority to make determinations regarding initial requests in accordance with § 1.4(c) of this title is delegated to the Freedom of Information Act Officer of AMS. Requests should be submitted to the FOIA Officer at the following address:



Freedom of Information Act Officer (FOIA Request). Agricultural Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.

(b) The request shall identify each record with reasonable specificity as prescribed in § 1.3 of this title.


(c) The FOIA Officer is authorized to receive requests and to exercise the authority to (1) make determinations to grant requests or deny initial requests, (2) extend the administrative deadline, (3) make discretinary release of exempt records, and (4) make determinations regarding charges pursuant to the fee schedule.


[44 FR 39151, July 5, 1979]


§ 900.504 Appeals.

Any person whose request under § 900.503 above is denied shall have the right to appeal such denial in accordance with § 1.3(e) of this title. Appeals shall be addressed to the Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250.


[40 FR 20267, May 9, 1975]


Subpart L – Information Collection


Authority:44 U.S.C. Ch. 35.

§ 900.600 General.

This subpart shall contain such requirements as pertain to the information collection provisions under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


[63 FR 10492, Mar. 4, 1998]


§ 900.601 OMB control numbers assigned pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(a) Purpose. This section collects and displays the control numbers assigned to information collection requirements by the Office of Management and Budget contained in 7 CFR parts 905 through 998 under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


(b) Display.


7 CFR part where identified and described
Current OMB control No.
905, Florida Oranges, Grapefruit Tangerines, Tangelos0581-0094
906, Texas Oranges & Grapefruit0581-0068
911, Florida Limes0581-0091
915, Florida Avocados0581-0078
916, California Nectarines0581-0072
917, California Pears and Peaches0581-0080
920, California Kiwifruit0581-0149
922, Washington Apricots0581-0095
923, Washington Sweet Cherries0581-0133
924, Washington-Oregon Fresh Prunes0581-0134
925, S.E. California Desert Grapes0581-0109
927, Oregon-Washington-California Winter Pears0581-0089
928, Hawaiian Papayas0581-0102
929, Cranberries Grown in Designated States0581-0103
930, Red Tart Cherries0581-0177
931, Oregon-Washington Bartlett Pears0581-0092
932, California Olives0581-0142
945, Idaho-Eastern Oregon Potatoes0581-0178
946, Washington Potatoes0581-0178
947, Oregon-California Potatoes0581-0178
948, Colorado Potatoes0581-0178
953, Southeastern Potatoes0581-0178
955, Vidalia Onions0581-0178
956, Walla Walla Onions0581-0178
958, Idaho-Oregon Onions0581-0178
959, South Texas Onions0581-0178
966, Florida Tomatoes0581-0178
979, South Texas Melons0581-0178
981, California Almonds0581-0071
982, Oregon-Washington Hazelnuts0581-0178
984, California Walnuts0581-0178
985, Spearmint Oil0581-0065
987, California Dates0581-0178
989, California Raisins0581-0178
993, California Dried Prunes0581-0178
997, Domestic Peanuts Not Covered Under the Peanut Marketing Agreement0581-0163
998, Domestic Peanuts Covered Under the Peanut Marketing Agreement0581-0067

[63 FR 10492, Mar. 4, 1998]


Subpart M – Assessment of Exemptions

§ 900.700 Exemption from assessments.

(a) This section specifies criteria for identifying persons eligible to obtain an exemption from the portion of the assessment used to fund marketing promotion activities under a marketing order and the procedures for applying for such an exemption under 7 CFR parts 905, 906, 915, 922, 923, 925, 927, 929, 930, 932, 948, 955, 956, 958, 959, 966, 981, 982, 984, 985, 987, 989, 993, and such other parts (included in 7 CFR parts 905 through 998) covering marketing orders for fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops as may be established or amended to include market promotion. For the purposes of this section, the term “assessment period” means fiscal period, fiscal year, crop year, or marketing year as defined under these parts; the term “marketing promotion” means marketing research and development projects or marketing promotion, including paid advertising designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, or consumption of the applicable commodity.


(b) A handler who operates under an approved National Organic Program (7 CFR part 205) (NOP) organic handling system plan and is subject to assessments under a part or parts specified in paragraph (a) of this section may be exempt from the portion of the assessment applicable to marketing promotion, including paid advertising, provided that:


(1) Only agricultural commodities certified as “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in the NOP) are eligible for exemption;


(2) The exemption shall apply to all certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” (as defined in the NOP) products of a handler regardless of whether the agricultural commodity subject to the exemption is handled by a person that also handles conventional or nonorganic agricultural products of the same agricultural commodity as that for which the exemption is claimed;


(3) The handler maintains a valid certificate of organic operation as issued under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501-6522)(OFPA) and the NOP regulations issued under OFPA (7 CFR part 205);


(4) Any handler so exempted shall continue to be obligated to pay assessments under such part or parts specified that are associated with any agricultural products that do not qualify for an exemption under this section; and


(5) For exempted products, any handler so exempted shall be obligated to pay the portion of the assessment associated with the other authorized activities under such part or parts other than marketing promotion, including paid advertising.


(c) Assessment exemption application. (1) To be exempt from paying assessments for these purposes under a part or parts listed in paragraph (a) of this section, the handler shall submit an application to the board or committee established under the applicable part or parts prior to or during the assessment period. This application, Form FV-649, “Certified Organic Handler Application for Exemption from Market Promotion Assessments Paid Under Federal Marketing Orders,” shall include:


(i) The date, applicable committee or board, and Federal marketing order number;


(ii) The applicant’s full name, company name, address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address;


(iii) Certification that the applicant maintains a valid certificate of organic operation under the OFPA and the NOP;


(iv) Certification that the applicant handles or markets organic products eligible to be labeled “organic” or “100 percent organic” under the NOP;


(v) Certification that the applicant is otherwise subject to assessments under the Federal marketing order program for which the exemption is requested;


(vi) The number of organic certified producers for whom they handle or market product (including the applicant);


(vii) A requirement that the applicant attach a copy of their certificate of organic operation and all applicable producer certificates of organic operation issued by a USDA-accredited certifying agent under the OFPA and the NOP;


(viii) Certification, as evidenced by signature and date, that all information provided by the applicant is true; and


(ix) Such other information as the committee or board may require, with the approval of the Secretary.


(2) The handler shall file the application with the committee or board, prior to or during the applicable assessment period, and annually thereafter, as long as the handler continues to be eligible for the exemption. If the person complies with the requirements of this section and is eligible for an assessment exemption, the committee or board will approve the exemption request and provide written notification of such to the applicant within 30 days. If the application is disapproved, the committee or board will provide written notification of the reason(s) for such disapproval within the same timeframe.


(3) The exemption will apply at the beginning of the next assessable period following notification of approval of the assessment exemption, in writing, by the committee or board.


(d) Assessment exemption calculation. (1) The applicable assessment rate for any handler approved for an exemption shall be computed by dividing the committee’s or board’s estimated non-marketing promotion expenditures by the committee’s or board’s estimated total expenditures approved by the Secretary and applying that percentage to the assessment rate applicable to all persons for the assessment period. The modified assessment rate shall then be applied to the quantity of certified “organic” or “100 percent organic” products handled under an approved organic assessment exemption as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. Products handled not subject to an approved organic assessment exemption shall be assessed at the assessment rate applicable to all persons for the assessment period. The committee’s or board’s estimated non-marketing promotion expenditures shall exclude the direct costs of marketing promotion and the portion of committee’s or board’s administrative and overhead costs (e.g., salaries, supplies, printing, equipment, rent, contractual expenses, and other applicable costs) to support and administer the marketing promotion activities.


(2) If a committee or board does not plan to conduct any market promotion activities in a fiscal year, the committee or board may submit a certification to that effect to the Secretary, and as long as no assessments for such fiscal year are used for marketing promotion projects, or the administration of projects are funded by a previous fiscal period’s assessments, the committee or board may assess all handlers, regardless of their organic status, the full assessment rate applicable to the assessment period.


(3) For each assessment period, the Secretary shall review the portion of the assessment rate applicable to marketing promotion for persons eligible for an exemption and, if appropriate, approve the assessment rate.


(4) When the requirements of this section for exemption no longer apply to a handler, the handler shall inform the committee or board within 30 days and pay the full assessment on all remaining assessable product for all committee or board assessments from the date the handler no longer is eligible to the end of the assessment period.


(5) Within 30 days following the applicable assessment period, the committee or board shall re-compute the applicable assessment rate for handlers exempt under this section based on the actual expenditures incurred during the applicable assessment period. The Secretary shall review, and if appropriate, approve any change in the portion of the assessment rate for market promotion applicable to exempt handlers, and authorize adjustments for any overpayments or collection of underpayments.


[80 FR 82020, Dec. 31, 2015]


PART 905 – ORANGES, GRAPEFRUIT, TANGERINES, AND PUMMELOS GROWN IN FLORIDA


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674.

Subpart A – Order Regulating Handling


Source:22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961.

Definitions

§ 905.1 Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the United States Department of Agriculture to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead.


[42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.2 Act.

Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (May 12, 1933), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended. (48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.; 68 Stat. 906, 1047.)


§ 905.3 Person.

Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, business trust, legal representative, or any organized group of individuals.


§ 905.4 Fruit.

Fruit means any or all varieties of the following types of citrus fruits grown in the production area:


(a) Citrus sinensis, Osbeck, commonly called “oranges”;


(b) Citrus paradisi, MacFadyen, commonly called “grapefruit”;


(c) Citrus reticulata, commonly called “tangerines” or “mandarin”;


(d) Citrus maxima Merr (L.); Osbeck, commonly called “pummelo”; and,


(e) “Citrus hybrids” that are hybrids between or among one or more of the four fruits in paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section and the following: Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata), sour orange (C. aurantium), lemon (C. limon), lime (C. aurantifolia), citron (C. medica), kumquat (Fortunella species), tangelo (C. reticulata x C. paradisi or C. grandis), tangor (C. reticulata x C. sinensis), and varieties of these species. In addition, citrus hybrids include: Tangelo (C. reticulata x C. paradisi or C. grandis), tangor (C. reticulata x C. sinensis), Temple oranges, and varieties thereof


[81 FR 10454, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.5 Variety.

Variety or varieties means any one or more of the following classifications or groupings of fruit:


(a) Oranges. (1) Early and Midseason oranges;


(2) Valencia, Lue Gim Gong, and similar late maturing oranges of the Valencia type;


(3) Navel oranges.


(b) Grapefruit. (1) Red Grapefruit, to include all shades of color;


(2) White Grapefruit.


(c) Tangerines and mandarins. (1) Dancy and similar tangerines;


(2) Robinson tangerines;


(3) Honey tangerines;


(4) Fall-Glo tangerines;


(5) US Early Pride tangerines;


(6) Sunburst tangerines;


(7) W-Murcott tangerines;


(8) Tangors.


(d) Pummelos. (1) Hirado Buntan and other pink seeded pummelos;


(2) [Reserved].


(e) Citrus hybrids – (1) Tangelos. (i) Orlando tangelo;


(ii) Minneola tangelo.


(2) Temple oranges.


(f) Other varieties of citrus fruits specified in § 905.4, including hybrids, as recommended and approved by the Secretary. Provided, That in order to add any hybrid variety of citrus fruit to be regulated under this provision, such variety must exhibit similar characteristics and be subject to cultural practices common to existing regulated varieties.


[81 FR 10454, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.6 Producer.

Producer is synonymous with grower and means any person who is engaged in the production for market of fruit in the production area and who has a proprietary interest in the fruit so produced.


[42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.7 Handler.

Handler is synonymous with shipper and means any person (except a common or contract carrier transporting fruit for another person) who, as owner, agent, or otherwise, handles fruit in fresh form, or causes fruit to be handled. Each handler shall be registered with the Committee pursuant to rules recommended by the Committee and approved by the Secretary.


[81 FR 10454, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.8 Prepare for market.

Prepare for market means to wash, grade, size, or place fruit (whether or not wrapped) into any container whatsoever; but such term shall not include the harvesting of fruit.


§ 905.9 Handle or ship.

Handle or ship means to sell, transport, deliver, pack, prepare for market, grade, or in any other way to place fruit in the current of commerce within the production area or between any point in the production area and any point outside thereof.


[81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.10 Carton or standard packed carton.

Carton or standard packed carton means a unit of measure equivalent to four-fifths (
4/5) of a United States bushel of fruit, whether in bulk or in any container.


[42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.11 Fiscal period.

Fiscal period means the period of time from August 1 of any year until July 31 of the following year, both dates inclusive.


§ 905.12 Committee.

Committee means the Citrus Administrative Committee established pursuant to § 905.19.


[42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.13 District.

(a) Citrus District One shall include the Counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, and Lake.


(b) Citrus District Two shall include the Counties of Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Alachua, Putnam, St. Johns, Flagler, Marion, Levy, Duval, Nassau, Baker, Union, Bradford, Columbia, Clay, Gilchrist, and Suwannee, and County Commissioner, Districts One, Two, and Three of Volusia County, and that part of the Counties of Indian River and Brevard not included in Regulation Area II.


(c) Citrus District Three shall include the County of St. Lucie and that part of the Counties of Brevard, Indian River, Martin, and Palm Beach described as lying within Regulation Area II, and County Commissioner’s Districts Four and Five of Volusia County.


(d) Citrus District Four shall include the Counties of Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades, De Sota, Charlotte, Lee, Hendry, Collier, Monroe, Dade, Broward, and that part of the Counties of Palm Beach and Martin not included in Regulation Area II.


(e) Citrus District Five shall include the County of Polk.


[42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.14 Redistricting.

(a) The Committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, redefine the districts into which the production area is divided or reapportion or otherwise change the grower membership of districts, or both: Provided, That the membership shall consist of at least eight but not more than nine grower members, and any such change shall be based, insofar as practicable, upon the respective averages for the immediately preceding three fiscal periods of:


(1) The number of bearing trees in each district;


(2) The volume of fresh fruit produced in each district;


(3) The total number of acres of citrus in each district; and


(4) Other relevant factors.


(b) Each redistricting or reapportionment shall be announced on or prior to March 1 preceding the effective fiscal period.


[81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.15 Regulation Area I.

Regulation Area I is defined as the “Interior District”, and shall include all that part of the production area not included in Regulation Area II.


[54 FR 37292, Sept. 8, 1989]


§ 905.16 Regulation Area II.

Regulation Area II is defined as the “Indian River District”, and shall include that part of the State of Florida particularly described as follows:



Beginning at a point on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean where the line between Flagler and Volusia Counties intersects said shore, thence follow the line between said two counties to the Southwest corner of Section 23, Township 14 South, Range 31 East; thence continue South to the Southwest corner of Section 35, Township 14 South, Range 31 East; thence East to the Northwest corner of Township 15 South, Range 32 East; thence South to the Southwest corner of Township 17 South, Range 32 East; thence East to the Northwest corner of Township 18 South, Range 33 East; thence South to the St. Johns River; thence along the main channel of the St. Johns River and through Lake Harney, Lake Poinsett, Lake Winder, Lake Washington, Sawgrass Lake, and Lake Helen Blazes to the range line between Ranges 35 East and 36 East; thence South to the South line of Brevard County; thence East to the line between Ranges 36 East and 37 East; thence South to the Southwest corner of St. Lucie County; thence East to the line between Ranges 39 East and 40 East; thence South to the South line of Martin County; thence East to the line between Ranges 40 East and 41 East; thence South to the West Palm Beach Canal (also known as the Okeechobee Canal); thence follow said canal eastward to the mouth thereof; thence East to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean; thence Northerly along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean to the point of beginning.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, and further redesignated at 42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977; 54 FR 37292, Sept. 8, 1989]


§ 905.17 Production area.

Production area means that portion of the State of Florida which is bounded by the Suwannee River, the Georgia border, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, and further redesignated at 42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.18 Improved No. 2 grade and Improved No. 2 Bright grade.

Improved No. 2 grade and Improved No. 2 Bright grade means grapefruit meeting all of the respective requirements of the U.S. No. 2 grade and the U.S. No. 2 Bright grade and those requirements of the U.S. No. 1 grade relating to shape (form) and color, as such requirements are set forth in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Florida Grapefruit (§§ 51.750-51.783 of this title) or as such standards may hereafter be amended.


[31 FR 15060, Dec. 1, 1966. Redesignated at 42 FR 59368, Nov. 17, 1977]


Administrative Bodies

§ 905.19 Establishment and membership.

(a) There is hereby established a Citrus Administrative Committee consisting of at least eight but not more than nine grower members, and eight shipper members. Grower members shall be persons who are not shippers or employees of shippers: Provided, that the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish alternative qualifications for such grower members. Shipper members shall be shippers or employees of shippers. The committee may be increased by one non-industry member nominated by the committee and selected by the Secretary. The committee, with approval of the Secretary, shall prescribe qualifications, term of office, and the procedure for nominating the non-industry member.


(b) Each member shall have an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member for whom this person is an alternate.


[54 FR 37293, Sept. 8, 1989]


§ 905.20 Term of office.

The term of office of members and alternate members shall begin on the first day of August of even-numbered years and continue for two years and until their successors are selected and have qualified. The consecutive terms of office of a member shall be limited to two terms. The terms of office of alternate members shall not be so limited. Members, their alternates, and their respective successors shall be nominated and selected by the Secretary as provided in §§ 905.22 and 905.23.


[81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.21 Selection of initial members of the committee.

The initial members of the Citrus Administrative Committee and their respective alternates shall be the members and alternates of the Growers Administrative Committee and the Shippers Advisory Committee serving on the effective date of his amendment. Each member and alternate shall serve until completion of the term for which he was selected and until his successor has been selected and qualified.


[42 FR 59369, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.22 Nominations.

(a) Grower members. (1) The Committee shall give public notice of a meeting of producers in each district to be held not later than June 10th of even-numbered years, for the purpose of making nominations for grower members and alternate grower members. The Committee, with the approval of the Secretary, shall prescribe uniform rules to govern such meetings and the balloting thereat. The chairman of each meeting shall publicly announce at such meeting the names of the persons nominated, and the chairman and secretary of each such meeting shall transmit to the Secretary their certification as to the number of votes so cast, the names of the persons nominated, and such other information as the Secretary may request. All nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary on or before the 20th day of June.


(2) Each nominee shall be a producer in the district from which he or she is nominated. In voting for nominees, each producer shall be entitled to cast one vote for each nominee in each of the districts in which he or she is a producer. At least two of the nominees and their alternates so nominated shall be affiliated with a bona fide cooperative marketing organization.


(b) Shipper members. (1) The Committee shall give public notice of a meeting for bona fide cooperative marketing organizations which are handlers, and a meeting for other handlers who are not so affiliated, to be held not later than June 10th of even-numbered years, for the purpose of making nominations for shipper members and their alternates. The Committee, with the approval of the Secretary, shall prescribe uniform rules to govern each such meeting and the balloting thereat. The chairperson of each such meeting shall publicly announce at the meeting the names of the persons nominated and the chairman and secretary of each such meeting shall transmit to the Secretary their certification as to the number of votes cast, the weight by volume of those shipments voted, and such other information as the Secretary may request. All nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary on or before the 20th day of June.


(2) Nomination of at least two members and their alternates shall be made by bona fide cooperative marketing organizations which are handlers. Nominations for not more than six members and their alternates shall be made by handlers who are not so affiliated. In voting for nominees, each handler or his or her authorized representative shall be entitled to cast one vote, which shall be weighted by the volume of fruit by such handler during the then current fiscal period.


(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, nomination and election of members and alternate members to the Committee may be conducted by mail, electronic mail, or other means according to rules and regulations recommended by the Committee and approved by the Secretary.


[42 FR 59369, Nov. 17, 1977, as amended at 74 FR 46306, Sept. 9, 2009; 81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.23 Selection.

(a) From the nominations made pursuant to § 905.22(a) or from other qualified persons, the Secretary shall select one member and one alternate member to represent District 2 and two members and two alternate members each to represent Districts 1, 3, 4, and 5 or such other number of members and alternate members from each district as may be prescribed pursuant to § 905.14. At least two such members and their alternates shall be affiliated with bona fide cooperative marketing organizations.


(b) From the nominations made pursuant to § 905.22(b) or from other qualified persons, the Secretary shall select at least two members and their alternates to represent bona fide cooperative marketing organizations which are handlers, and the remaining members and their alternates to represent handlers who are not so affiliated.


[74 FR 46306, Sept. 9, 2009]


§ 905.27 Failure to nominate.

In the event nominations for a member or alternate member of the committee are not made pursuant to the provisions of §§ 905.22 and 905.25, the Secretary may select such member or alternate member without regard to nominations.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.28 Qualification and acceptance.

Any person nominated to serve as a member or alternate member of the Committee shall, prior to selection by the Secretary, qualify by filing a written qualification and acceptance statement indicating such person’s qualifications and willingness to serve in the position for which nominated.


[81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.29 Inability of members to serve.

(a) An alternate for a member of the committee shall act in the place and stead of such member (1) in his absence, or (2) in the event of his removal, resignation, disqualification, or death, and until a successor for his unexpired term has been selected.


(b) If both a member and his or her respective alternate are unable to attend a committee meeting, such member may designate another alternate to act in his or her place in order to obtain a quorum: Provided, That such alternate member represents the same group affiliation as the absent member. If the member is unable to designate such an alternate, the committee members present may designate such alternate.


(c) In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any person selected by the Secretary as a member or an alternate member of the committee, a successor for the unexpired term of such person shall be selected by the Secretary. Such selection may be made without regard to the provisions of this subpart as to nominations.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977; 74 FR 46306, Sept. 9, 2009]


§ 905.30 Powers of the committee.

The committee, in addition to the power to administer the terms and provisions of this subpart, as herein specifically provided, shall have power (a) to make, only to the extent specifically permitted by the provisions contained in this subpart, administrative rules and regulations; (b) to receive, investigate and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of this subpart; and (c) to recommend to the Secretary amendments to this subpart.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.31 Duties of Citrus Administrative Committee.

It shall be the duty of the Citrus Administrative Committee:


(a) To select a chairman from its membership, and to select such other officers and adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of its business as it may deem advisable;


(b) To keep minutes, books, and records which will clearly reflect all of its acts and transactions, which minutes, books, and records shall at all times be subject to the examination of the Secretary;


(c) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and the producers and handlers;


(d) To furnish the Secretary with such available information as he may request;


(e) To appoint such employees as it may deem necessary and to determine the salaries and define the duties of such employees;


(f) To cause its books to be audited by one or more certified or registered public accountants at least once for each fiscal period, and at such other times as it deems necessary or as the Secretary may request, and to file with the Secretary copies of all audit reports;


(g) To prepare and publicly issue a monthly statement of financial operations of the committee;


(h) To provide an adequate system for determining the total crop of each variety of fruit, and to make such determinations, including determinations by grade and size, as it may deem necessary, or as may be prescribed by the Secretary, in connection with the administration of this subpart;


(i) To perform such duties in connection with the administration of section 32 of the act to amend the Agricultural Adjustment Act and for other purposes, Public Act No. 320, 74th Congress, as amended, as may from time to time be assigned to it by the Secretary;


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 30 FR 13934, Nov. 4, 1965; 42 FR 59369, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.33 Compensation and expenses of committee members.

The members and alternate members of the Committee shall serve without compensation but may be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in attending committee meetings and in the performance of their duties under this part.


[42 FR 59369, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.34 Procedure of committees.

(a) Ten members of the committee shall constitute a quorum.


(b) For any decision or recommendation of the committee to be valid, ten concurring votes, five of which must be grower votes, shall be necessary: Provided, That the committee may recommend a regulation restricting the shipment of grapefruit grown in Regulation Area I or Regulation Area II which meets the requirements of the Improved No. 2 grade or the Improved No. 2 Bright grade only upon the affirmative vote of a majority of its members present from the regulation area in which such restriction would apply; and whenever a meeting to consider a recommendation for release of such grade is requested by a majority of the members from the affected area, the committee shall hold a meeting within a reasonable length of time for the purpose of considering such a recommendation. If after such consideration the requesting area majority present continues to favor such release for their area, the request shall be considered a valid recommendation and transmitted to the Secretary. The votes of each member cast for or against any recommendation made pursuant to this subpart shall be duly recorded. Whenever an assembled meeting is held each member must vote in person.


(c) The committee may provide for meeting by telephone, telegraph, or other means of communication, and any vote cast at such a meeting shall be promptly confirmed in writing: Provided, That if any assembled meeting is held, all votes shall be cast in person.


(d) The committee shall give the Secretary the same notice of meetings as is given to the members thereof.


[42 FR 59369, Nov. 17, 1977, as amended at 74 FR 46306, Sept. 9, 2009]


§ 905.35 Right of the Secretary.

The members of the committee (including successors and alternates), and any agent or employee appointed or employed by the committee, shall be subject to removal or suspension by the Secretary at any time. Each and every order, regulation, decision, determination, or other act of the committee shall be subject to the continuing right of the Secretary to disapprove of the same at any time and upon his disapproval shall be deemed null and void, except as to acts done in reliance thereon or in compliance therewith.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.36 Funds.

(a) All funds received by the committee pursuant to any provision of this subpart shall be used solely for the purposes herein specified and shall be accounted for in the manner provided in this subpart.


(b) The Secretary may, at any time, require the committee and its members to account for all receipts and disbursements.


(c) Upon the removal or expiration of the term of office of any member of the committee, such member shall account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property and funds, together with all books and records, in his possession, to his successor in office, and shall execute such assignments and other instruments as may be necessary or appropriate to vest in such successor full title to all of the property, funds, and claims vested in such member pursuant to this subpart.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977]


Expenses and Assessments

§ 905.40 Expenses.

The committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred to carry out the functions of the committee under this subpart during each fiscal period. The funds to cover such expenses shall be acquired by the levying of assessments upon handlers as provided in § 905.41.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.41 Assessments.

(a) Each handler who first handles fruit shall pay to committee, upon demand, such handler’s pro rata share of the expenses which the Secretary finds will be incurred by the committee for the maintenance and functioning, during each fiscal period, of the committee established under this subpart. Each such handler’s share of such expenses shall be that proportion thereof which the total quantity of fruit shipped by such handler as the first handler thereof during the applicable fiscal period is of the total quantity of fruit so shipped by all handlers during the same fiscal period. The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment per standard packed carton of fruit to be paid by each such handler. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative.


(b) At any time during or after the fiscal period, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment so that the sum of money collected pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be adequate to cover the said expenses. Such increase shall be applicable to all fruit shipped during the given fiscal period. In order to provide funds to carry out the functions of the committee established under § 905.19, handlers may make advance payment of assessments.


(c) In the case of an extreme emergency, the committee may borrow money on a short term basis to provide funds for the administration of this part. Any such borrowed money shall only be used to meet the committee’s current financial obligations, and the committee shall repay all such borrowed money by the end of the next fiscal period from assessment income.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977; 54 FR 37293, Sept. 8, 1989]


§ 905.42 Handler’s accounts.

(a) If, at the end of a fiscal period, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, the Committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may carry over such excess into subsequent fiscal periods as a reserve: Provided, That funds already in the reserve do not exceed approximately two fiscal periods’ expenses. Such reserve funds may be used (1) to cover any expenses authorized by this part and (2) to cover necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part. If any such excess is not retained in a reserve, each handler entitled to a proportionate refund shall be credited with such refund against the operations of the following fiscal period unless he demands payment of the sum due him, in which case such sum shall be paid to him. Upon termination of this part, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate: Provided, That to the extent practical, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.


(b) The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, maintain in its own name or in the name of its members a suit against any handler for the collection of such handler’s pro rata share of the said expense.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 34 FR 12427, July 30, 1969; 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977; 81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


Regulations

§ 905.50 Marketing policy.

(a) Before making any recommendations pursuant to § 905.51 for any variety of fruit, the committee shall, with respect to the regulations permitted by § 905.52, submit to the Secretary a detailed report setting forth an advisable marketing policy for such variety for the then current shipping season. Such report shall set forth the proportion of the remainder of the total crop of such variety of fruit (determined by the committee to be available for shipment during the remainder of the shipping season of such variety) deemed advisable by the committee to be shipped during such season.


(b) In determining each such marketing policy and advisable proportion, the committee shall give due consideration to the following factors relating to citrus fruit produced in Florida and in other States:


(1) The available crop of each variety of citrus fruit in Florida, and in other States, including the grades and sizes thereof, which grades and sizes in Florida shall be determined by the committee pursuant to § 905.31;


(2) The probable shipments of citrus fruit from other States;


(3) The level and trend in consumer income;


(4) The prospective supplies of competitive commodities; and


(5) Other pertinent factors bearing on the marketing of fruit.


(c) In addition to the foregoing, the committees shall set forth a schedule of proposed regulations for the remainder of the shipping season for each variety of fruit for which recommendations to the Secretary pursuant to § 905.51 are contemplated. Such schedules shall recognize the practical operations of harvesting and preparation for market of each variety and the change in grades and sizes thereof as the respective seasons advance. In the event it is deemed advisable to alter such marketing policy or advisable proportion as the shipping season progresses, in view of changed demand and supply conditions with respect to fruit, the said committee shall submit to the Secretary a report thereon.


(d) The committee shall transmit a copy of each marketing policy report or revision thereof to the Secretary and to each producer and handler who files a request therefor. Copies of all such reports shall be maintained in the office of the committee where they shall be available for examination by producers and handlers.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 30 FR 13934, Nov. 4, 1965; 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.51 Recommendations for regulation.

(a) Whenever the committee deems it advisable to regulate any variety in the manner provided in § 905.52, it shall give due consideration to the following factors relating to the citrus fruit produced in Florida and in other States: (1) Market prices, including prices by grades and sizes of the fruit for which regulation is recommended; (2) maturity, condition, and available supply, including the grade and size thereof in the producing areas; (3) other pertinent market information; and (4) the level and trend in consumer income. The committee shall submit to the Secretary its recommendations and supporting information respecting the factors enumerated in this section.


(b) The committee shall give notice of any meeting to consider the recommendation of regulations pursuant to § 905.52 by mailing a notice of meeting to each handler who has filed his address with committee for this purpose. The committee shall give the same notice of any such recommendation before the time it is recommended that such regulation become effective.


[42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.52 Issuance of regulations.

(a) Whenever the Secretary shall find from the recommendations and reports of the committee, or from other available information, that to limit the shipment of any variety would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall so limit the shipment of such variety during a specified period or periods. Such regulations may:


(1) Limit the shipments of any grade or size, or both, of any variety, in any manner as may be prescribed, and any such limitation may provide that shipments of any variety grown in Regulation Area II shall be limited to grades and sizes different from the grade and size limitations applicable to shipments of the same varieties grown in Regulation Area I: Provided, That whenever any such grade or size limitation restricts the shipment of a portion of a specified grade or size of a variety the quantity of such grade or size that may be shipped by a handler during a particular week shall be established as a percentage of the total shipments of such variety by such handler in such prior period established by the committee with the approval of the Secretary, in which he shipped such variety.


(2) Limit the shipment of any variety by establishing and maintaining, only in terms of grades or sizes, or both, minimum standards of quality and maturity;


(3) Limit the shipment of the total quantity of any variety by prohibiting the shipment thereof: Provided, that no such prohibition shall apply to exports or be effective during any fiscal period with respect to any variety other than for one period not exceeding five days during the week in which Thanksgiving Day occurs, and for not more than two periods not exceeding a total of 14 days during the period December 20 to January 20, both dates inclusive.


(4) Establish, prescribe, and fix the size, capacity, weight, dimensions, marking (including labels and stamps), or pack of the container or containers which may be used in the packaging, transportation, sale, shipment, or other handling of fruit.


(5) Provide requirements that may be different for the handling of fruit within the production area, the handling of fruit for export, or for the handling of fruit between the production area and any point outside thereof within the United States.


(6) Any regulations or requirements pertaining to intrastate shipments shall not be implemented unless Florida statutes and regulations regulating such shipments are not in effect.


(b) Prior to the beginning of any such regulations, the Secretary shall notify the committee of the regulation issued by him, and the committee shall notify all handlers by mailing a copy thereof to each handler who has filed his address with said committee for this purpose.


(c) Whenever the Secretary finds from the recommendations and reports of the committee, or from other available information, that a regulation should be modified, suspended, or terminated with respect to any or all shipments of fruit in order to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall so modify, suspend, or terminate such regulation. If the Secretary finds that a regulation obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall suspend or terminate such regulation. On the same basis, and in like manner, the Secretary may terminate any such modification or suspension.


(d) Whenever any variety is regulated pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section, no such regulation shall be deemed to limit the right of any person to sell, contract to sell, or export such variety but no handler shall otherwise ship any fruit of such variety which was prepared for market during the effective period of such regulation.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 34 FR 12427, July 30, 1969; 42 FR 59370, Nov. 17, 1977; 54 FR 37292, Sept. 8, 1989; 81 FR 10455, Mar. 1, 2016]


§ 905.53 Inspection and certification.

(a) Whenever the handling of a variety of a type of fruit is regulated pursuant to § 905.52, each handler who handles any variety of such type of fruit shall, prior to the handling of any lot of such variety, cause such lot to be inspected by the Federal-State Inspection Service and certified by it as meeting all applicable requirements of such regulation: Provided, That such inspection and certification shall not be required if the particular lot of fruit previously had been so inspected and certified unless such prior inspection was not performed within such time limitations as may be prescribed pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. Each handler shall promptly submit, or cause to be submitted, to the committee a copy of each certificate of inspection issued to him covering varieties so handled.


(b) With respect to any variety regulated pursuant to § 905.52(a)(4), the committee may prescribe, with the approval of the Secretary, such requirements with respect to time of inspection as it may deem necessary to insure satisfactory condition of the fruit at time of export.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.54 Marketing, research and development.

The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, establish, or provide for the establishment of, projects including production research, marketing research and development projects, and marketing promotion including paid advertising, designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, and consumption or efficient production of fruit. The expenses of such projects shall be paid by funds collected pursuant to § 905.41. Upon conclusion of each project, but at least annually, the committee shall summarize the program status and accomplishments to its members and the Secretary. A similar report to the committee shall be required of any contracting party on any project carried out under this section. Also, for each project, the contracting party shall be required to maintain records of money received and expenditures, and such shall be available to the committee and the Secretary.


[74 FR 46306, Sept. 9, 2009]


Handlers’ Reports

§ 905.70 Manifest report.

The committee may request information from each handler regarding the variety, grade, and size of each standard packed carton of fruit shipped by him and may require such information to be mailed or delivered to the committee or its duly authorized representative, within 24 hours after such shipment is made, in a manner or by such method as the said committee may prescribe, and upon such forms as may be prepared by it.


[42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.71 Other information.

Upon request of the committee, made with the approval of the Secretary, every handler shall furnish the committee, in such manner and at such times as it prescribes, such other information as will enable it to perform its duties under this subpart.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 905.80 Fruit not subject to regulation.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person may, without regard to the provisions of §§ 905.52 and 905.53 and the regulations issued thereunder, ship any variety for the following purposes: (a) To a charitable institution for consumption by such institution; (b) to a relief agency for distribution by such agency; (c) to a commercial processor for conversion by such processor into canned or frozen products or into a beverage base; (d) by parcel post; or (e) in such minimum quantities, types of shipments, or for such purposes as the committee with the approval of the Secretary may specify. No assessment shall be levied on fruit so shipped. The committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, prescribe such rules, regulations, or safeguards as it may deem necessary to prevent varieties handled under the provisions of this section from entering channels of trade for other than the purposes authorized by this section. Such rules, regulations, and safeguards may include the requirements that handlers shall file applications with the committee for authorization to handle a variety pursuant to this section, and that such applications be accompanied by a certification by the intended purchaser or receiver that the variety will not be used for any purpose not authorized by this section.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.81 Compliance.

Except as provided in this part, no person shall ship fruit the shipment of which has been prohibited by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of this part.


§ 905.82 Effective time.

The provisions of this subpart shall become effective on and after 12:01 a.m., e.s.t., September 1, 1946, and shall continue in force until terminated in one of the ways specified in § 905.83.


§ 905.83 Termination.

(a) The Secretary may at any time terminate the provisions of this part by giving at least one day’s notice by means of a press release or in any other manner which he may determine.


(b) The Secretary shall terminate the provisions of this part at the end of any fiscal period whenever he finds that such termination is favored by a majority of producers who, during the preceding fiscal period, have been engaged in the production for market of fruit: Provided, That such majority have, during such period, produced for market more than 50 percent of the volume of such fruit produced for market, but such termination shall be effective only if announced on or before July 31 of the then current fiscal period.


(c) The Secretary shall conduct a referendum six years after the effective date of this paragraph and every sixth year thereafter to ascertain whether continuance of this part is favored by producers. The Secretary may terminate the provisions of this part at the end of any fiscal period in which the Secretary has found that continuance of this part is not favored by producers who during a representative period, determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production for market of the fruit in the production area. Such termination shall be announced on or before July 31 of the fiscal period.


(d) The provisions of this part shall, in any event, terminate whenever the provisions of the act authorizing it cease to be in effect.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 54 FR 37293, Sept. 8, 1989]


§ 905.84 Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of the provisions of this part, the then functioning members of the committee shall continue as joint trustees, for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the committee, of all the funds and property then in the possession of or under control of committee, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered at the time of such termination.


(b) The said trustees (1) shall continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary, (2) shall, from time to time, account for all receipts and disbursements or deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of the committee and of the joint trustees, to such person as the Secretary may direct; and (3) shall, upon the request of the Secretary, execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in such person full title and right to all of the funds, property, and claims vested in the committee, or the joint trustees pursuant to this part.


(c) Any funds collected pursuant to § 905.41, over and above the amounts necessary to meet outstanding obligations and expenses necessarily incurred during the operation of this part and during the liquidation period, shall be returned to handlers as soon as practicable after the termination of this part. The refund to each handler shall be represented by the excess of the amount paid by him over and above his pro rata share of the expenses.


(d) Any person to whom funds, property, or claims have been transferred or delivered by the committee or its members, pursuant to this section, shall be subject to the same obligations imposed upon the members of the committee and upon the said joint trustees.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.85 Duration of immunities.

The benefits, privileges, and immunities conferred upon any person by virtue of this part shall cease upon its termination, except with respect to acts done under and during the existence of this part.


§ 905.86 Agents.

The Secretary may, by designation in writing, name any person, including any officer or employee of the Government, or name any bureau or division in the United States Department of Agriculture, to act as his agent or representative in connection with any of the provisions of this part.


§ 905.87 Derogation.

Nothing contained in this part is, or shall be construed to be in derogation or in modification of the rights of the Secretary or of the United States (a) to exercise any powers granted by the act or otherwise, or (b) in accordance with such powers, to act in the premises whenever such action is deemed advisable.


§ 905.88 Personal liability.

No member or alternate of the committee nor any employee or agent thereof, shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly with others, in any way whatsoever, to any handler or to any other person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as such member, alternate, or employee, except for acts of dishonesty.


[22 FR 10734, Dec. 27, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977]


§ 905.89 Separability.

If any provision of this part is declared invalid, or the applicability thereof to any person, circumstance, or thing is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this part or the applicability thereof to any other person, circumstance, or thing shall not be affected thereby.


Subpart B – Administrative Requirements


Source:42 FR 59371, Nov. 17, 1977, unless otherwise noted.

§ 905.105 Tangerine and grapefruit classifications.

(a) Pursuant to § 905.5(m), the following classifications of grapefruit are renamed as follows:


(1) Marsh and other seedless grapefruit, excluding pink grapefruit, are renamed as Marsh and other seedless grapefruit, excluding red grapefruit;


(2) Duncan and other seeded grapefruit, excluding pink grapefruit, are renamed as Duncan and other seeded grapefruit, excluding red grapefruit;


(3) Pink seedless grapefruit is renamed as Red seedless grapefruit;


(4) Pink seeded grapefruit is renamed as Red seeded grapefruit.


(b) Pursuant to § 905.5(m), the term variety or varieties includes Sunburst and Fallglo tangerines.


[56 FR 49132, Sept. 27, 1991, as amended at 63 FR 55500, Oct. 16, 1998]


§ 905.107 Registered handler certification.

Each handler who handles citrus grown in the production area must be certified as a registered handler by the Committee in order to ship such regulated citrus outside of the regulated area. A handler who is certified as a registered handler is a handler who has adequate facilities to meet the requirements for preparing citrus for market, obtains inspection on citrus handled, agrees to handle citrus in compliance with the Order’s grade, size and container requirements, pays applicable assessments on a timely basis, submits reports required by the Committee, and agrees to comply with other regulatory requirements on the handling of citrus grown in the production area.


(a) Eligibility. Based on the criteria specified in this section, the Committee shall determine eligibility for certification as a registered handler. The Committee or its authorized agent shall inspect a handler’s facilities to determine if the facilities are adequate for preparing citrus for market. To be adequate for such purposes, the facilities must be permanent, nonportable buildings located in the production area with equipment that is nonportable for the proper washing, grading, sizing and packing of citrus grown in the production area.


(b) Application for certification. Application for certification shall be executed by the handler by August 1st of fiscal period and filed with the Committee on a form, prescribed by and available at the principal office of the Committee, containing the following information:


(1) Business name,


(2) Address of handling facilities (including telephone, email and facsimile number),


(3) Mailing address (if different from handling facility address),


(4) Number of years in the citrus business in Florida,


(5) Type of business entity, and


(6) Names of senior officers, partners, or principal owners with financial interest in the business.


(c) Determination of certification. If the Committee determines from available information that an applicant meets the criteria specified in this section, the applicant shall be certified as a registered handler and informed by written notice from the Committee. Certification is effective for a fiscal period unless the Committee determines, based on criteria herein, that cancellation is warranted. If certification is denied, the handler shall be informed by the Committee in writing, stating the reasons for denial.


(d) Cancellation of certification. A registered handler’s certification shall be cancelled by the Committee, with the approval of the Secretary, if the handler fails to pay assessments within 90 days of the invoice date, fails to provide reports to the Committee, or no longer has adequate facilities as described in this section. Cancellation of a handler’s certification shall be made in writing to the handler and shall specify the reason(s) for and effective date of the cancellation. Cancellation shall be for a minimum two-week period if a handler is found to be shipping without proper inspection. The Committee shall recertify the handler’s registration at such time as the handler corrects the deficiencies which resulted in the cancellation and the Committee or its agent verifies compliance. The Committee shall notify the handler in writing of its recertification.


(e) Inspection certification. During any period in which the handling of citrus is regulated pursuant to this part, no handler shall obtain an inspection certifying that the handler’s citrus meets the requirements of the Order unless the handler has been certified as a registered handler by the Committee. Any person who is not certified as a registered handler may receive inspection from the Federal-State Inspection Service, however, the inspection certificate shall state “Fails to meet the requirements of Marketing Order No. 905 because the handler is not a registered handler.”


(f) Contrary shipping. The Committee may cancel or deny a handler’s registration if the handler has shipped citrus contrary to the provisions of this part. The cancellation or denial of a handler’s registration shall be effective for a minimum of two weeks and not exceed the applicable shipping season as determined by the Committee.


(g) Appeals. Any handler who has been denied a handler’s registration or who has had a handler’s registration cancelled, may appeal to the Secretary, supported by any arguments and evidence the handler may wish to offer as to why the application for certification or recertification should have been approved. The appeal shall be in writing and received at the Specialty Crops Program office in Washington, DC, within 90 days of the date of notification of denial or cancellation.


[85 FR 55362, Oct. 8, 2020]


§ 905.114 Redistricting of citrus districts and reapportionment of grower members.

Pursuant to § 905.14, the citrus districts and membership allotted each district shall be as follows:


(a) Citrus District One shall include the counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union and County Commissioner’s Districts One, Two, and Three of Volusia County, and that part of the counties of Indian River and Brevard not included in Regulation Area II. This district shall have two grower members and alternates.


(b) Citrus District Two shall include the counties of Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, De Soto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Okeechobee, Sarasota, and that part of the counties of Palm Beach and Martin not included in Regulation Area II. This district shall have three grower members and alternates.


(c) Citrus District Three shall include the County of St. Lucie and that part of the counties of Brevard, Indian River, Martin, and Palm Beach described as lying within Regulation Area II, and County Commissioner’s Districts Four and Five of Volusia County. This district shall have four grower members and alternates.


[78 FR 13781, Mar. 1, 2013]


§ 905.120 Nomination procedure.

Meetings shall be called by the committee in accordance with the provisions of § 905.22, for the purpose of making nominations for members and alternate members of the Citrus Administrative Committee. The manner of nominating members and alternate members of said committee shall be as follows:


(a) At each such meeting the committee’s representative shall announce the requirements as to eligibility for voting for nominees and the procedure for voting, and shall explain the duties of the committee.


(b) A chairman and a secretary of each meeting shall be selected.


(c) At each meeting there shall be presented for nomination and there shall be nominated not less than the number of nominees required under the provisions of § 905.19, all of whom shall have the qualifications as specified in § 905.22.


(d) At the meetings of handlers, any person authorized to represent a handler may cast a ballot for such handler.


(e) At each meeting each eligible person may cast one vote for each of the persons to be nominated to represent the district or group, as the case may be.


(f) Voting may be by written ballot. If written ballots are used, all ballots shall be delivered by the chairman or the secretary of the meeting to the agent of the Secretary. If ballots are not used, the committee’s representative shall deliver to the Secretary’s agent a listing of each person nominated and a count of the number of votes cast for each nominee for grower member and alternate. Said representative shall also provide the agent the register of eligible voters present at each meeting, a listing of each person nominated, the number of votes cast, and the weight by volume of shipments voted for each nominee for shipper member and alternate.


(g) Up to four grower members may be growers who are also shippers, or growers who are also employees of shippers.


[43 FR 9455, Mar. 8, 1979, as amended at 78 FR 13781, Mar. 1, 2013]


Non-Regulated Fruit

§ 905.140 Gift packages.

Any handler may, without regard to the provisions of §§ 905.52 and 905.53 and the regulations issued thereunder, ship any varieties for the following purpose and types of shipment:


(a) To any person gift packages containing such varieties: Provided, That such packages are individually addressed to such person, and shipped directly to the addressee for use by such person other than for resale; or


(b) to any individual gift package distributor of such varieties to be handled by such distributor: Provided, That such person is the original purchaser and the gift packages are individually addressed or marked “not for resale”. This exemption does not apply to “commercially handled” shipments for resale.


[58 FR 65539, Dec. 15, 1993]


§ 905.141 Minimum exemption.

Any shipment of fruit which meets each of the following requirements may be transported from the production area during any one day by any person or by the occupants of one vehicle exempt from the requirements of §§ 905.52 and 905.53 and regulations issued thereunder:


(a) The shipment does not exceed a total of 15 standard packed cartons (12 bushels) of fruit, either a single fruit or a combination of two or more fruits;


(b) The shipment consists of fruit not for resale; and


(c) Such exempted quantity is not included as a part of a shipment exceeding 15 standard packed cartons (12 bushels) of fruit.


§ 905.142 Animal feed.

(a) The handling of citrus for animal feed shall be exempt from the provisions of §§ 905.52 and 905.53 and the regulations issued thereunder under the following conditions:


(1) The handler notifies the committee each fiscal period, prior to such handling of his/her intention to handle such fruit, the quantity he/she anticipates handling and the destination point of each lot of fruit and receives from the committee a special shipping permit for the shipment;


(2) The fruit is used for animal feed and is not offered for resale, disposed of, or in any way handled so as to enter fresh fruit channels;


(3) The quantity does not exceed 1,000
4/5 bushel cartons per fiscal period or such other quantity as may be specified by the committee;


(4) The fruit is placed in containers of uniform capacity; and


(5) Each shipment is certified by the Federal-State Inspection Service as to the quantity shipped.


(b) [Reserved]


[46 FR 47056, Sept. 24, 1981]


§ 905.145 Certification of certain shipments.

Whenever a regulation pursuant to § 905.52 restricts the shipment of a portion of a specified grade or size of a variety, each handler shipping such variety during the regulation period shall, with respect to each such shipment, certify to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the committee the quantity of the partially restricted grade or size, or both, contained in such shipment. Such certification shall accompany the manifest of such shipment which the handler furnishes to the Federal-State Inspection Service.


§ 905.146 Special purpose shipments.

(a) A Special Purpose Shipper is one who handles Florida citrus fruit that is certified by a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services licensed certifying agent as organically grown under Florida law. In addition, the shipper shall certify that shipments will be limited to outlets handling organically grown fruits. Any such shipments shall be subject to a Certificate of Privilege issued by the committee.


(b) To qualify for a Certificate of Privilege, each such shipper must notify the committee prior to the first shipment of certified organically grown Florida citrus fruit in the fiscal period of the shipper’s intent to ship such citrus, submit an application on forms supplied by the committee, and agree to other requirements as set forth in §§ 905.147 and 905.148 inclusive, with respect to such shipments. The shipper shall certify that no claims will be made, written or verbal, concerning any alleged advantages of using, or any alleged superiority of, fruit shipped under a Certificate of Privilege, compared to other Florida produced citrus.


(c) Citrus meeting all other applicable requirements may be handled without regard to grade regulations issued under § 905.52 under the following conditions:


(1) Such fruit meets the requirements of U. S. No. 2 Russet grade and those requirements of U. S. No. 1 grade relating to shape (form), as such requirements are set forth in the revised U. S. Standards for Grades of Florida Oranges and Tangelos (7 CFR 51.1140 through 51.1179), the revised Standards for Florida Tangerines (7 CFR 51.1810 through 51.1837), or the revised U. S. Standards for Grades of Florida Grapefruit (7 CFR 51.750 through 51.784). Such fruit also meets applicable minimum size requirements in effect for domestic shipments of citrus fruits.


(2) All such citrus shall be inspected as required by § 905.53 by the Federal or Federal-state Inspection Service prior to the time such citrus is shipped from the packing facility, and certified as meeting the applicable requirements.


(3) Be reported as required in § 905.148.


[59 FR 26928, May 25, 1994, as amended at 66 FR 229, Jan. 3, 2001]


§ 905.147 Certificate of privilege.

(a) Application. Application for Certificate of Privilege by a Special Purpose Shipper shall be made on forms furnished by the committee. Each application may contain, but need not be limited to, the name and address of each handler; a list of certified organic citrus fruit growers, including addresses; a list of receivers; the quantity and variety of citrus to be shipped; a certification to the Secretary of Agriculture and to the committee as to the truthfulness of the information shown thereon; and any other appropriate information or documents deemed necessary by the committee or its duly authorized agents for the purposes stated in § 905.146.


(b) Approval. The committee or its duly authorized agents shall give prompt consideration to each application for a Certificate of Privilege. Approval of an application based upon a determination as to whether the information contained therein and other information available to the committee supports approval, shall be evidenced by the issuance of a Certificate of Privilege to the applicant. Each certificate shall expire at the end of the fiscal period.


(c) Suspension or Denial of Certificate of Privilege. The committee may investigate the handling of special purpose shipments under Certificates of Privilege to determine whether Special Purpose Shippers are complying with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates. Whenever the committee finds that a Special Purpose Shipper or consignee is failing to comply with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates, the Certificate of Privilege issued to such Special Purpose Shipper may be suspended or, in the case of an application for the issuance of an initial Certificate of Privilege, may be denied. Such suspension of a certificate shall be for a reasonable period of time as determined by the committee, but in no event shall it extend beyond the end of the current fiscal period. In the case of the denial of an application for the issuance of an initial certificate, such certificate shall be denied until the applicant comes into compliance with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates. Prior to suspending or denying an application for a Certificate of Privilege, the committee shall give the shipper or applicant reasonable advance notice in writing of its intention and the facts and reasons therefor, and afford the shipper or applicant an opportunity, either orally or in writing, to present opposing facts and reasons. The shipper or applicant shall be informed of the committee’s determination in writing and in a timely manner.


[43 FR 9456, Mar. 8, 1978, as amended at 59 FR 26929, May 25, 1994]


§ 905.148 Reports of special purpose shipments under certificates of privilege.

(a) Each handler of citrus shipping under Certificates of Privilege shall supply the committee with reports on each shipment as requested by the committee, on forms supplied by the committee, showing the name and address of the shipper or shippers; name and address of the certified organic Florida citrus fruit grower or growers supplying fruit for such shipment; truck or other conveyance identification; the loading point; destination, consignee; the inspection certificate number; and any other information deemed necessary by the committee.


(b) One copy of the report on each shipment shall be forwarded by the shipper to the committee within 10 days after such shipment, and two copies of the report shall accompany each shipment to the receiver. Upon the receipt of each shipment, the receiver shall complete the applicable portion of the form and return one copy to the committee within 10 days and one copy shall be retained by the shipper. Such completion shall contain a certification to the Secretary and the committee that the citrus described shall be distributed in the outlets described. Failure to complete and return such forms will be cause to remove that receiver’s name from the committee’s list of eligible receivers.


[43 FR 9456, Mar. 8, 1978, as amended at 59 FR 26929, May 25, 1994]


§ 905.149 Procedure for permitting growers to ship tree run citrus fruit.

(a) Tree run citrus fruit. Tree run citrus fruit as referenced in this section is defined in the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) regulation 20-35.006, which specifies that “Tree run grade is that grade of naturally occurring sound and wholesome citrus fruit which has not been separated either as to grade or size after severance from the tree.” Wholesomeness is as defined in FDOC regulation 20-62.002. The tree run citrus fruit shipped under this provision also must be from the applying grower’s own grove.


(b) Application. A grower shall apply to ship tree run fruit using a Grower Tree Run Certificate Application, furnished by the committee. Such application shall contain, but not be limited to: the name, address, and phone number of the grower; legal description of the grove(s) from which citrus will be shipped; variety of citrus produced on the identified grove(s); approximate number of boxes produced on the identified grove(s); and a certification to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to the committee as to the truthfulness of the information shown thereon; and any other appropriate information or documents deemed necessary by the committee or its duly authorized agents.


(c) Approval. The committee or its duly authorized agents shall give prompt consideration to each application for a Grower Tree Run Certificate. Approval of an application will be based upon a determination as to whether the information contained therein and on whether other information available to the committee supports an application’s approval. Approval of an application shall be evidenced by the issuance of a Grower Tree Run Certificate to the applicant. Each certificate shall expire at the end of the fiscal period.


(d) Suspension or denial of a Grower Tree Run Certificate. The committee may investigate the handling of tree run shipments under a Grower Tree Run Certificate to determine whether growers are complying with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates. Whenever the committee finds that a grower is failing to comply with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates, the Grower Tree Run Certificate issued to such grower may be suspended or, in the case of an application for the issuance of an initial Grower Tree Run Certificate, may be denied. Such suspension of a certificate shall be for a reasonable period of time as determined by the committee, but in no event shall it extend beyond the end of the fiscal period. In the case of the denial of an application for the issuance of an initial certificate, such certificate shall be denied until the applicant comes into compliance with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates. Prior to suspending or denying an application for a Grower Tree Run Certificate, the committee shall give the grower reasonable advance notice in writing of its intention and the facts and reasons therefor, and afford the grower an opportunity, either orally or in writing, to present opposing facts and reasons. The grower shall be informed of the committee’s determination in writing and in a timely manner.


(e) To qualify for a Grower Tree Run Certificate, each such grower must notify the committee prior to the first shipment of tree run Florida citrus fruit of the grower’s intent to ship such citrus, submit an application on forms supplied by the committee, and agree to other requirements as set forth in this section with respect to such shipments.


(f) The handling of tree run citrus under a Grower Tree Run Certificate shall be exempt from the provisions of §§ 905.52 and 905.53 and the regulations issued thereunder, under the following conditions:


(1) A grower may only ship up to 150 1
3/5 bushel boxes per variety, per shipment.


(2) A grower may only ship up to 3,000 boxes per variety per season.


(3) Each grower shall apply to the Citrus Administrative Committee and receive a Grower Tree Run Certificate prior to shipping their own tree run Florida citrus fruit.


(4) Each grower of citrus shipping under a Grower Tree Run Certificate shall supply the committee with reports on each shipment as requested by the committee, on forms supplied by the committee, providing the following information: The name and address of the grower, along with the grower’s Grower Tree Run Certificate number; the legal description of the grove; the variety and amount of citrus shipped; the date the fruit was shipped; and the truck/trailer license number. A copy of the form will be completed for each shipment. One copy of the report will be forwarded by the grower to the committee office within 10 days after such shipment, and one copy of the report will accompany each shipment and be given to the Road Guard Station.


(5) Each container of tree run fruit shipped under a Grower Tree Run Certificate shall be labeled with or contain the name and address of the grower shipping under the Grower Tree Run Certificate.


[67 FR 62313, Oct. 7, 2002, as amended at 68 FR 52329, Sept. 3, 2003; 69 FR 50269, Aug. 16, 2004]


§ 905.150 Eligibility requirements for public member and alternate member.

(a) The public member shall be neither a producer nor a handler of Florida citrus fruit and shall have no direct financial interest in the production or marketing of citrus fruit (except as a consumer of agricultural products).


(b) The public member should be able to devote sufficient time and express a willingness to attend Committee activities regularly and become familiar with the background and economics of the industry.


(c) The public member must be a resident of the production area.


(d) The public member should be nominated by the Citrus Administrative Committee and should serve a 1-year term which coincides with the term of office of producer and handler members of the Committee.


[43 FR 32397, July 27, 1978]


§ 905.153 Procedure for determining handlers’ permitted quantities of red seedless grapefruit when a portion of sizes 48 and 56 of such variety is restricted.

(a) For the purposes of this section, the prior period specified in § 905.52 is hereby established as an average week within the immediately preceding three seasons. Each handler’s average week shall be computed by adding the total volume of red seedless grapefruit handled in the immediately preceding three seasons and dividing the total by 99. The average week for handlers with less than three previous seasons of shipments shall be calculated by adding the total volume of shipments for the seasons they did ship red seedless grapefruit, divide by the number of seasons, divide further by 33. If crop conditions limit shipments from any or all of the immediately preceding three season(s), the committee may use a prior season or seasons for the purposes of calculating an average week. New handlers with no record of shipments could ship size 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit as a percentage of total shipments equal to the percentage applied to other handlers’ average week; once such handlers have recorded shipments, their average week shall be calculated as an average of total shipments for the weeks they have shipped red seedless grapefruit during the current season. When used in the regulation of red seedless grapefruit, the term season means the weeks beginning the third Monday in September and ending the first Sunday in the following May. The term regulation period means the 22-week period beginning the third Monday in September of the current season.


(b) When a size limitation restricts the shipment of a portion of sizes 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit during a particular week as provided in § 905.52, the committee shall compute the quantity of sizes 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit that may be shipped by each handler by multiplying the handler’s calculated average week shipments of such grapefruit by the percentage established by regulation for red seedless grapefruit for that week. Such set percentage may vary from week to week but shall not be less than 25 percent in any week.


(c) The committee shall notify each handler of the quantity of size 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit such handler may handle during a particular week.


(d) During any regulation week for which the Secretary has fixed the percentage of sizes 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit, any person who has received an allotment may handle, in addition to their total allotment available, an amount of size 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit up to 10 percent greater than their allotment. The quantity of the overshipment shall be deducted from the handler’s allotment for the following week. Overshipments will not be allowed during the last week of regulation. If the handler fails to use his or her entire allotment, the undershipment is not carried forward to the following week. Each handler shipping size 48 and/or 56 red seedless grapefruit during the regulation period shall complete and submit to the committee, no later than 2 p.m. of the business day following the shipment, a report of red seedless grapefruit shipments by day for each regulation week.


(e) Any handler may transfer or loan any or all of their shipping allotment (excluding the overshipment allowance) of size 48 and 56 red seedless grapefruit to any other handler. Each handler party to such transfer or loan shall no later than noon on the Wednesday following the regulation week notify the committee so the proper adjustment of records may be made. In each case, the committee shall confirm in writing all such transactions, prior to the following week, to the handlers involved. The committee may act on behalf of handlers wanting to arrange allotment loans or participate in the transfer of allotments.


(f) New handlers with no record of shipments planning to ship red seedless grapefruit covered by any percentage size regulation shall register with the committee prior to the regulation period so their allotments can be properly calculated. Each new handler shall provide on a form furnished by the committee their Florida citrus fruit dealer’s license number, their Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Fruit and Vegetable Division packinghouse registration number, and the physical location of the packinghouse where the red seedless grapefruit is to be prepared for market. The committee shall notify any new handlers of their allotments prior to the regulation period.


[61 FR 69015, Dec. 31, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 52011, Oct. 6, 1997; 64 FR 51892, Sept. 27, 1999; 67 FR 809, Jan. 8, 2002; 69 FR 50278, Aug. 16, 2004; 70 FR 54242, Sept. 14, 2005]


§ 905.161 Repacking shipper.

(a) A repacking shipper is a person who repacks and ships citrus fruit grown in the production area in Florida which has been previously inspected and certified as meeting the requirements specified under § 905.52 of the order, and who has obtained a currently valid repacking certificate of privilege issued to him or her by the committee as specified in § 905.162.


(b) Each repacking shipper, to qualify for a repacking certificate of privilege, must notify the committee 10 days prior to his or her first shipment of repacked citrus fruit during a particular fiscal period of his or her intent to ship such citrus fruit, submit an Application for a Repacking Certificate of Privilege form supplied by the committee, and agree to other requirements as set forth in §§ 905.162 and 905.163 inclusive, with respect to such shipments. The repacking shipper shall certify that he or she will only handle previously inspected and certified citrus fruit.


(c) Any repacking shipper who handles citrus fruit shipped under a repacking certificate of privilege must, other order provisions not withstanding, meet the following requirements:


(1) All such citrus fruit must be positive lot identified by the Federal or Federal/State Inspection Service and certified as meeting the applicable requirements for citrus fruit shipped to the domestic market (fruit shipped from the production area to any point outside thereof in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia of the United States), prior to being repacked and shipped by the repacking shipper. Each such citrus fruit shipment shall be accompanied by a Federal-State manifest that certifies the grade and amount of each load of citrus fruit received, which shall be retained by the repacking shipper.


(2) Be reported as required in § 905.163.


(3) The repacking facility used to repack previously inspected and certified citrus fruit by the repacking shipper shall not have operable equipment to wash, brush, wax, or dry citrus fruit.


(4) All citrus fruit handled by a repacking shipper shall be packed in approved Florida Department of Citrus fruit containers.


(5) Each container shipped with such citrus fruit shall be marked with the repacking shipper’s repacking certificate of privilege number.


[59 FR 48782, Sept. 23, 1994]


§ 905.162 Repacking certificate of privilege.

(a) Application. Application for a repacking certificate of privilege by a repacking shipper shall be made on an Application for a Repacking Certificate of Privilege form supplied by the committee. Each such application shall contain, but need not be limited to, the name, address and Florida citrus fruit dealer license number of the applicant; approximate number of boxes to be handled during the season; the various types of containers to be used to ship the repacked citrus fruit; a certification to the Secretary of Agriculture and to the committee as to the truthfulness of the information shown thereon; and any other appropriate information or documents deemed necessary by the committee or duly authorized agents for the purposes stated in § 905.161.


(b) Approval. The committee or its duly authorized agents shall give prompt consideration to each application for a repacking certificate of privilege. Approval of an application based upon a determination as to whether the information contained therein and other information available to the committee supports approval, shall be evidenced by the issuance of a repacking certificate of privilege to the applicant. Each such certificate shall expire at the end of the fiscal period.


(c) Suspension or denial of certificate of privilege. The committee may investigate the handling of repacked fresh citrus fruit shipments under certificates of privilege to determine whether repacking shippers are complying with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates. Whenever the committee finds that a repacking shipper is failing to comply with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates, the certificate of privilege issued to such repacking shipper may be suspended or, in the case of an application for the issuance of an initial certificate of privilege, may be denied. Such suspension of a certificate shall be for a reasonable period of time as determined by the committee, but in no event shall it extend beyond the end of the then current fiscal period. In the case of the denial of an application for the issuance of an initial certificate, such certificate shall be denied until the applicant comes into compliance with the requirements and regulations applicable to such certificates. Prior to suspending or denying an application for a certificate of privilege, the committee shall give the shipper or applicant an opportunity, either orally or in writing, to present opposing facts and reasons. The shipper or applicant shall be informed of the committee’s determination in writing and in a timely manner.


[59 FR 48783, Sept. 23, 1994]


§ 905.163 Reports of shipments under repacking certificate of privilege.

(a) Each repacking shipper who handles citrus fruit under a repacking certificate of privilege shall supply the committee with reports on each shipment as requested by the committee, on a Report of Shipments Under Certificate of Privilege form supplied by the committee, showing the name and address of the repacking shipper; name and address of the handler supplying the inspected and certified citrus fruit for such shipment; number of packages; size and containers; brand; grade; certificate number; and any other information deemed necessary by the committee. Each repacking shipper of citrus fruit shall maintain on file a copy of the Federal-State manifest that certifies the grade and amount of each load of citrus fruit received. These manifests shall be readily available to the committee upon request.


(b) One copy of the Report of Shipments Under Certificate of Privilege form on each shipment shall be forwarded to the committee promptly, one copy of such form shall be retained by the repacking shipper, and one copy of such form shall accompany the shipment. Failure to complete and return such form shall be cause for suspension of the repacking shippers repacking certificate of privilege.


[59 FR 48783, Sept. 23, 1994]


§ 905.171 Handler supplier report.

Each handler shall furnish a supplier report to the Committee on an annual basis. Such reports shall be made on forms provided by the Committee and shall include the name and business address of each grower whose fruit was shipped or acquired by the handler during the season. Handlers shall submit this report to the Committee not later than June 15 of each season.


[78 FR 32070, May 29, 2013]


Subpart C – Assessment Rate

§ 905.235 Assessment rate.

On and after August 1, 2018, an assessment rate of $0.015 per 4/5-bushel carton or equivalent is established for Florida citrus covered under the Order.


[84 FR 2049, Feb. 6, 2019]


Subpart D – Grade and Size Requirements

§ 905.306 Orange, Grapefruit, Tangerine and Tangelo Regulation.

(a) No handler shall ship between the production area and any point outside thereof, in the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia of the United States, any variety of fruit listed in column (1) of Table I, except for Ambersweet and Temple, unless such variety meets the applicable minimum grade and size (with tolerances for size as specified in paragraph (c) of this section) specified for such variety in columns (2) and (3) of Table I: Provided, That all grapefruit meet the minimum maturity requirements specified in paragraph (e) of this section.


Table I

Variety
Regulation period
Minimum grade
Minimum

diameter

(inches)
(1)(2)(3)(4)
Oranges
Early and midseasonU.S. No. 12
4/16
NavelU.S. No. 12
4/16
Valencia and other late typeSeptember 1-May 14

May 15-June 14
U.S. No. 1

U.S. No. 1 Golden
2
4/16

2
4/16
June 15-August 31U.S. No. 2, External/U.S. No. 1, Internal2
4/16
Grapefruit, SeedlessU.S. No. 13
Tangerines:
FallgloU.S. No. 12
6/16
HoneyFlorida No. 12
6/16
SunburstU.S. No. 12
6/16
TangelosU.S. No. 12
8/16

(b) No handler shall ship to any destination outside the 48 contiguous States and the District of Columbia of the United States any variety of fruit listed in column (1) of Table II, except for Ambersweet and Temple, unless such variety meets the applicable minimum grade and size (with tolerances for size as specified in paragraph (c) of this section) specified for such variety in columns (2) and (3) of Table II: Provided, That all grapefruit meet the minimum maturity requirements specified in paragraph (e) of this section.


Table II

Variety
Minimum grade
Minimum

diameter

(inches)
(1)(2)(3)
OrangesU.S. No. 12
4/16
NavelsU.S. No. 1 Golden2
4/16
Grapefruit, SeedlessU.S. No. 13
Tangerines:
FallgloU.S. No. 12
6/16
HoneyFlorida No. 12
6/16
SunburstU.S. No. 12
6/16
TangelosU.S. No. 12
8/16

(c) Size tolerances. To allow for variations incident to proper sizing in the determination of minimum diameters as prescribed in Tables I and II, not more than 10 percent, by count, of the fruit in any lot of containers may fail to meet the minimum diameter size requirements, and not more than 15 percent, by count, in any individual sample may fail to meet the minimum diameter size requirements specified: Provided, That such tolerances for other than Navel and Temple oranges shall be based only on the oranges in the lot measuring 2
14/16 inches or smaller in diameter.


(d) Terms used in the marketing order including Improved No. 2 grade for grapefruit, when used herein, mean the same as is given to the terms in the order; Florida No. 1 grade for Honey tangerines means the same as provided in Rule No. 20-35.03 of the Regulations of the Florida Department of Citrus, and terms relating to grade, except Improved No. 2 grade for grapefruit and diameter, shall mean the same as is given to the terms in the revised U. S. Standards for Grades of Florida Oranges and Tangelos (7 CFR 51.1140 through 51.1179), the revised U. S. Standards for Florida Tangerines (7 CFR 51.1810 through 51.1837), or the revised U. S. Standards for Grades of Florida Grapefruit (7 CFR 51.750 through 51.784).


(e)(1) All grapefruit shipped under the order shall meet minimum maturity requirements of 8.0 percent soluble solids (sugars) and 7.5 to 1 solids to acid ratio or shall comply with one of the alternate equivalent soluble solids and solids to acid ratio combinations set forth in Table III: Provided, That the minimum ratio shall not drop below 7.2 even if the soluble solids (sugars) reaches a level higher than 9.6.


(2) Notwithstanding the provision of paragraph (e)(1) of this section, for the period December 23, 2004 to July 31, 2005, all grapefruit shipped under the order shall meet minimum maturity requirements of 7.5 percent soluble solids (sugars) and 7.5 to 1 solids to acid ratio or shall comply with one of the alternate equivalent soluble solids and solids to acid ratio combinations set forth in Table III: Provided, That the minimum ratio shall not drop below 7.2 even if the soluble solids (sugars) reaches a level higher than 9.6.


Table III

Minimum total solids (sugars), %
Solids to acid minimum ratio
8.0 to (not including) 9.17.50 to 1
9.1 to (not including) 9.27.45 to 1
9.2 to (not including) 9.37.40 to 1
9.3 to (not including) 9.47.35 to 1
9.4 to (not including) 9.57.30 to 1
9.5 to (not including) 9.67.25 to 1
9.6 and greater7.20 to 1

[46 FR 60171, Dec. 8, 1981]


Editorial Note:For Federal Register citations affecting § 905.306, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§ 905.350 [Reserved]

Subpart E – Interpretations

§ 905.400 Interpretation of certain provisions.

(a) In interpreting the provisions of paragraph (d) of § 905.52, the limitation on shipment of any variety of fruit regulated pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of that section, which was prepared for market during the effective period of such regulation, shall not be deemed to apply to shipment of such variety which was prepared for market incidentally as part of a lot packed for export and shipped following the period of regulation.


(b) Prior to shipment of any variety of fruit so prepared, the handler shall provide the Citrus Administrative Committee or its designated agent a copy of the shipping manifest applicable to such shipment with a notation thereon that the fruit was packed incidentally as part of a lot packed for export.


[54 FR 46597, Nov. 6, 1989]


PART 906 – ORANGES AND GRAPEFRUIT GROWN IN LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY IN TEXAS


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674.

Subpart A – Order Regulating Handling


Source:25 FR 9093, Sept. 22, 1960, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961.

Definitions

§ 906.1 Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead.


§ 906.2 Act.

Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress, as amended and as re-enacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (sections 1-19, 48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674).


§ 906.3 Person.

Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or any other business unit.


§ 906.4 Production area.

Production area means all territory in the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy in the State of Texas.


§ 906.5 Fruit.

Fruit means either or both of the following citrus fruits grown in the production area: (a) Citrus grandis, Osbeck, commonly called grapefruit, and (b) Citrus sinensis, Osbeck, commonly called oranges.


§ 906.6 Handler.

Handler is synonymous with shipper and means any person (except a common or contract carrier of fruit owned by another person) who handles fruit or causes fruit to be handled.


(a) Independent handler. Independent handler means any handler other than a handler that is a cooperative marketing organization.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 906.7 Handle.

Handle or ship means to transport or sell fruit, or in any other way to place fruit, in the current of commerce between the production area and any point outside thereof in the United States, Canada, or Mexico.


§ 906.8 Producer.

Producer means any person engaged in a proprietary capacity in the production of fruit for market.


(a) Independent producer. Independent producer means any producer who does not market his fruit through a handler that is a cooperative marketing organization.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 906.9 Grade and size.

Grade means any one of the established grades of fruit and size means any one of the established sizes of fruit as defined and set forth in the applicable U.S. Standards for fruit (§§ 51.680 through 51.714 and §§ 51.620 through 51.653) issued by the United States Department of Agriculture, or amendments thereto, or modifications thereof, or variations based thereon recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.


§ 906.10 Pack.

Pack means the specific grade, quality, size, or arrangement of fruit in a particular container or containers.


§ 906.11 Maturity.

Maturity means various degrees of ripeness for fruit as established by the committee with approval of the Secretary.


§ 906.12 Container.

Container means any box, bag, crate, hamper, basket, package, bulk carton, or any other type of receptacle used in the packaging, transportation, sale, or other handling of fruit.


§ 906.13 Variety or varieties.

Variety or varieties means any one or more of the following groupings or classifications of fruit: (a) Navel oranges; (b) Early and Midseason oranges, except Navel oranges; (c) Valencia and similar late type oranges; (d) white seeded grapefruit; (e) white seedless grapefruit; (f) pink and red seeded grapefruit; and (g) pink and red seedless grapefruit.


§ 906.14 Committee.

Committee means the Texas Valley Citrus Committee, established pursuant to § 906.18.


§ 906.15 Fiscal period.

Fiscal period means the period beginning August 1 and ending July 31 following; or such annual beginning and ending dates as may be approved by the Secretary pursuant to recommendations of the committee.


§ 906.16 District.

District means any of the geographic divisions of the production area initially established pursuant to § 906.20 or as re-established pursuant to § 906.21.


Committee

§ 906.18 Establishment and membership.

(a) The Texas Valley Citrus Committee, consisting of fifteen (15) members is hereby established. For each member of the committee there shall be an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member.


(b) Nine members shall be producers who produce fruit in the district which they represent and are residents of the production area. Two of the producer members shall be producers who market their fruit through cooperative marketing organizations, and seven of the producer members shall be independent producers. Producer members shall not have a proprietary interest in or be employees of a handler organization: Provided, That members of a cooperative marketing organization shall not be considered as having a proprietary interest in a handler organization because of such membership.


(c) Six members shall be handlers who are residents of the production area. One handler member shall represent cooperative marketing organizations; five handler members shall represent independent handlers.


§ 906.19 Term of office.

(a) The term of office of committee members and their respective alternates shall be for three years beginning August 1 and ending July 31: Provided, That the term of office of one-third of the initial producer members and alternates and one-third of the initial handler members and alternates shall end July 31, 1961, and the term of office of an identical number of such committee members and alternates shall end July 31, 1962. No member or alternate member shall succeed himself.


(b) Members and alternates shall serve in that capacity during the portion of the term of office for which they are selected and have qualified, and until their respective successors are selected and have qualified. Should a producer member or alternate member change his marketing affiliation during his term of office, he may continue to serve in such capacity during the remainder of such term.


[25 FR 9093, Sept. 22, 1960. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 31 FR 10462, Aug. 4, 1966]


§ 906.20 Districts.

For the purpose of determining the basis for selecting producer committee members the following districts of the production area are hereby initially established:



District No. 1: The county of Cameron in the State of Texas;

District No. 2: The county of Hidalgo in the State of Texas; and

District No. 3 The county of Willacy in the State of Texas.

§ 906.21 Redistricting.

The committee may recommend, and pursuant thereto the Secretary may approve, the reapportionment of members among districts, the reapportionment of members between grower and handler members representing cooperative marketing organizations and independent grower and independent handler members, and the re-establishment of districts within the production area. In recommending such changes, the committee shall give consideration to: (a) Shifts in production; (b) the importance of new production in its relation to existing districts; (c) the equitable relationship of committee membership and districts; (d) changes in amount of fruit handled by cooperative marketing organizations in relation to fruit handled by independent handlers; and (e) other relevant factors. No changes in districting or in apportionment of members may become effective in less than 30 days prior to the date on which terms of office begin each year and no recommendations for such redistricting or reapportionment may be made less than six months prior to such date.


§ 906.22 Selection.

(a) From District No. 1 the Secretary shall select initially two producer members and their alternates representing independent producers. From District No. 2 the Secretary shall select initially two producer members and their respective alternates representing producers who market their fruit through cooperative marketing organizations, and four producer members and their respective alternates representing independent producers. From District No. 3 the Secretary shall select initially one producer member and his alternate representing independent producers.


(b) From the production area the Secretary shall select initially six handler members and their respective alternates. One handler member shall represent cooperative marketing organizations and five handler members shall represent independent handlers.


§ 906.23 Nominations.

The Secretary may select the members of the committee and alternates from nominations which may be made in the following manner:


(a) A meeting of producers who are members of cooperative marketing organizations and a meeting of independent producers shall be held for each district having both cooperative and independent producer members and alternates to elect nominees for such positions. For all other districts, meetings of all producers shall be held for such purpose. A meeting of handlers representing cooperative marketing organizations and a meeting of independent handlers shall be held in the production area to elect nominees for handler members and alternates. For nominations to the initial committee, the meetings may be sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture or by any agency or group requested to do so by such Department. For nominations for succeeding members and alternates on the committee, the committee shall hold such meetings or cause them to be held prior to June 15 of each year, after the effective date of this subpart.


(b) At each such meeting at least one nomination shall be designated for each position as member and alternate.


(c) Nominations for committee members and alternates following the initial committee shall be supplied to the Secretary not later than July 1 each year.


(d) In districts having both cooperative and independent producer members, only producers who market their fruit through cooperative marketing organizations may participate in designating nominees for members and alternates representing cooperative producers; and only independent producers may participate in designating nominees for members and alternates representing independent producers. In all other districts, all producers may participate in designating the nominees for producer members and alternates. Only handlers representing cooperative marketing organizations may participate in designating nominees for members and alternates representing cooperative handlers; and only independent handlers may participate in designating nominees for members and alternates representing independent handlers. In the event that a person is engaged in producing fruit in more than one district such person shall elect the district within which he may participate, as aforesaid, in designating nominees.


(e) Regardless of the amount of fruit handled by a handler or the number of districts in which a person produces fruit, each person is entitled to cast only one vote on behalf of himself, his agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, and representatives in designating nominees for committee members and alternates. An eligible voter’s privilege of casting only one vote shall be construed to permit a voter to cast one vote for each position to be filled. Votes must be cast in person at all nomination meetings.


§ 906.24 Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and in the manner specified in § 906.23, the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select the committee members and alternates, which selection shall be on the basis of the representation provided for in §§ 906.20 through 906.22, inclusive.


§ 906.25 Acceptance.

Any person selected as a committee member or alternate shall qualify by filing a written acceptance with the Secretary within ten days after being notified of such selection.


§ 906.26 Vacancies.

To fill committee vacancies, the Secretary may select such members or alternates from unselected nominees on the current nominee list from the district and group involved, or from nominations made in the manner specified in § 906.23. If the names of nominees to fill any such vacancy are not made available to the Secretary within 30 days after such vacancy occurs, such vacancy may be filled without regard to nominations, which selection shall be made on the basis of representation provided for in §§ 906.20 through 906.22, inclusive.


§ 906.27 Alternate members.

An alternate member of the committee shall act in the place and stead of the member for whom he is an alternate, during such member’s absence or when designated to do so by the member for whom he is an alternate. In the event both a member and his alternate are unable to attend a committee meeting, the committee members present may designate another alternate of the same classification (handler or producer, and to the extent practical, independent, or co-op) to serve in such member’s place and stead. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member, his alternate shall act for him until a successor of such member is selected and has qualified.


[31 FR 10462, Aug. 4, 1966]


§ 906.28 Procedure.

Ten members of the committee shall be necessary to constitute a quorum, six of whom shall be producer members. Ten affirmative votes shall be required to pass any motion or approve any committee action. All votes shall be cast in person.


§ 906.29 Expenses and compensation.

The members of the committee, and alternates, shall serve without compensation; but they may be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties and in the exercise of their powers under this subpart.


§ 906.30 Powers.

The committee shall have the following powers:


(a) To administer the provisions of this part in accordance with its terms;


(b) To make rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part;


(c) To receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violation of the provisions of this part; and


(d) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part.


§ 906.31 Duties.

It shall be, among other things, the duty of the committee:


(a) At the beginning of each term of office, to meet and organize, to select a chairman and such other officers as may be necessary, to select sub-committees, and to adopt such rules and regulations for the conduct of its business as it may deem advisable;


(b) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any producer or handler;


(c) To furnish to the Secretary such available information as he may request;


(d) To appoint such employees, agents, and representatives as it may deem necessary and to determine the salaries and define the duties of each such person;


(e) To require adequate fidelity bonds for all persons handling funds;


(f) To investigate from time to time and to assemble data on the growing, harvesting, shipping, and marketing conditions with respect to fruit;


(g) To prepare a marketing policy;


(h) To recommend marketing regulations to the Secretary;


(i) To recommend rules and procedures for, and to make determinations in connection with, issuance of certificates of privilege;


(j) To keep minutes, books, and records which clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the committee; and such minutes, books, and records shall be subject to examination at any time by the Secretary or his authorized agent or representative; and minutes of each committee meeting shall be promptly submitted to the Secretary;


(k) At the beginning of each fiscal period, to prepare a budget of its expenses for such fiscal period, together with a report thereon;


(l) To cause the books of the committee to be audited by a competent accountant at least once each fiscal period, and at such other time as the committee may deem necessary or as the Secretary may request (the report of each such audit shall show the receipt and expenditure of funds collected pursuant to this part; a copy of each such report shall be furnished to the Secretary and a copy of each report shall be made available at the principal office of the committee for inspection by producers and handlers); and


(m) To consult, cooperate, and exchange information with other marketing agreement committees and other individuals or agencies in connection with all proper committee activities and objectives under this part.


Expenses and Assessments

§ 906.32 Expenses.

The committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary may find are reasonable and likely to be incurred during each fiscal period for its maintenance and functioning, and for such purposes as the Secretary, pursuant to this subpart, determines to be appropriate. Each handler’s share of such expense shall be proportionate to the ratio between the total quantity of fruit handled by him as the first handler thereof during a fiscal period and the total quantity of fruit handled by all handlers as first handlers thereof during such fiscal period.


§ 906.33 Budget.

At the beginning of each fiscal period and as may be necessary thereafter, the committee shall prepare an estimated budget of income and expenditures necessary for the administration of this part. The committee shall recommend the rate of assessment calculated to provide adequate funds to defray its proposed expenditures. The committee shall present such budget to the Secretary with an accompanying report showing the basis for its estimates and recommendations.


§ 906.34 Assessments.

(a) The funds to cover the committee’s expenses shall be acquired by the levying of assessments upon handlers as provided in this subpart. Each handler who first handles fruit shall, with respect to the fruit so handled by him, pay assessments to the committee upon demand, which assessments shall be in payment of such handler’s pro rata share of the committee’s expenses.


(b) Assessments shall be levied upon handlers at rates established by the Secretary. Such rates may be established upon the basis of the committee’s recommendations and other available information. Such rates may be applied to specified containers used in the production area.


(c) The rate of assessment may be increased at any time by the Secretary if he finds such increase is necessary in order that the money collected shall be adequate to cover the committee’s expenses during a given fiscal period. Such increase shall be applicable to all fruit handled during such fiscal period.


(d) The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functining of the committee may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect irrespective of whether particular provisions of this part are suspended or become inoperative.


§ 906.35 Accounting.

(a) If, at the end of a fiscal period, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, such excess shall be accounted for in accordance with one of the following:


(1) If such excess is not retained in a reserve, as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, it shall be refunded proportionately to the persons from whom collected.


(2) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary may carry over such excess into subsequent fiscal periods as a reserve: Provided, That funds already in the reserve do not equal approximately 1 fiscal period’s expenses. Such reserve funds may be used for any expenses authorized pursuant to § 906.32 and for necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part. Upon such termination, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate. To the extent practical, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.


(b) All funds received by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this part shall be used solely for the purpose specified in this part and shall be accounted for in the manner provided in this part. The Secretary may at any time require the committee and its members to account for all receipts and disbursements.


(c) Upon the removal or expiration of the terms of office of any member of the committee, such member shall account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property and funds in his possession to the committee, and shall execute such assignments and other instruments as may be necessary or appropriate to vest in the committee full title to all of the property, funds, and claims vested in such member pursuant to this part.


(d) The committee may make recommendations to the Secretary for one or more of the members thereof, or any other person, to act as a trustee for holding records, funds, or any other committee property during periods of suspension of this subpart, or during any period or periods when regulations are not in effect, and if the Secretary determines such action appropriate, he may direct that such person or persons shall act as trustee or trustees for the committee.


[25 FR 9093, Sept. 22, 1960. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 31 FR 10462, Aug. 4, 1966]


Research and Development

§ 906.37 Research and development.

The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of marketing research and development projects, including paid advertising, designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, and consumption of fruit. Any such project for the promotion and advertising of fruit may utilize an identifying mark which shall be made available for use by all handlers in accordance with such terms and conditions as the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe. The expenses of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to § 906.34.


[31 FR 10462, Aug. 4, 1966]


Regulation

§ 906.38 Marketing policy.

Prior to or at the same time as initial recommendations are made pursuant to § 906.39, the committee shall submit to the Secretary a report setting forth the marketing policy it deems desirable for the industry to follow in shipping fruit from the production area during the ensuing season. Additional reports shall be submitted from time to time if it is deemed advisable by the committee to adopt a new or modified marketing policy because of changes in the demand and supply situation with respect to fruit. The committee shall publicly announce the submission of each marketing policy report and copies thereof shall be available at the committee’s office for inspection by any producer or handler. In determining each such marketing policy the committee shall give due consideration to the following:


(a) Market prices of fruit, including prices by grade, size, and quality in different packs, and such prices by foreign competing areas;


(b) Supply of fruit, by grade, size, and quality in the production area, and in other production areas, including foreign production areas;


(c) Trend and level of consumer income;


(d) Marketing conditions affecting fruit prices; and


(e) Other relevant factors.


§ 906.39 Recommendations for regulations.

The committee, upon complying with the requirements of § 906.38, may recommend regulations to the Secretary whenever it finds that such regulations, as are provided for in this sub-part, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act. The committee shall give notice to handlers of any such recommendation at the same time such recommendation is submitted to the Secretary.


§ 906.40 Issuance of regulations.

The Secretary shall limit the handling of fruit whenever he finds from the recommendation and information submitted by the committee, or from other available information, that such rgulation would tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act. Such regulations may:


(a) Limit the handling of particular grades, sizes, qualities, maturities, or packs of any or all varieties of fruit during a specified period or periods: Provided, That specific maturity requirements applicable to the handling of any variety may be prescribed under this section only in the event that appropriate maturity requirements for such variety are not in effect under State authority.


(b) Limit the handling of particular grades, sizes, qualities, or packs of fruit differently for different varieties, for different containers, for different purposes specified in § 906.42, or any combination of the foregoing, during any period.


(c) Limit the handling of fruit by establishing, in terms of grades, sizes, or both, minimum standards of quality and maturity.


(d) Fix the size, weight, capacity, dimensions, or pack of the container or containers which may be used in the packaging, transportation, sale, shipment, or other handling of fruit.


(e) Prohibit the handling (1) of any fruit which does not have marked on each container the grade or the registered grade label of the fruit contained therein; (2) of any grapefruit which does not have marked on each fruit the word Texas or other words implying Texas origin, except that the committee may recommend and the Secretary establish a tolerance for grapefruit in any container or lot not so marked; and (3) of any container fruit which is misbranded as to variety.


(f) No regulations may be issued under the provisions of this subpart which allots to individual handlers the quantity of fruit which each handler may ship during any regulation period.


§ 906.41 Gift fruit shipments.

The handling to any person of gift packages of fruit individually addressed to such person, in quantities aggregating not more than 500 pounds and not for resale, are exempt from the provisions of §§ 906.34, 906.40, and 906.45, and the regulations issued thereunder, but shall conform to such safeguards as may be established pursuant to § 906.43.


§ 906.42 Shipments for special purposes.

Upon the basis of recommendations and information submitted by the committee, or other available information, the Secretary, whenever he finds that it will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, shall modify, suspend, or terminate regulations issued pursuant to §§ 906.34, 906.40, 906.45, or any combination thereof, in order to facilitate the handling of fruit:


(a) For relief or for charity;


(b) For processing or for manufacture or conversion into specified products; and


(c) In such minimum quantities and for such other purposes as may be specified by the committee with the approval of the Secretary.


§ 906.43 Notification of regulations.

The Secretary shall notify the committee of any regulations issued or of any modification, suspension, or termination thereof. The committee shall give reasonable notice thereof to handlers.


§ 906.44 Safeguards.

(a) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe adequate safeguards to prevent the handling of fruit pursuant to § 906.41 or § 906.42 from entering channels of trade for other than the specific purpose authorized therefor, and rules governing the issuance and the contents of certificates of privilege if such certificates are prescribed as safeguards by the committee. Such safeguards may include requirements that:


(1) Handlers shall file applications with the committee to ship fruit pursuant to §§ 906.41 and 906.42.


(2) Handlers shall obtain inspection provided by § 906.45, or pay the assessment levied pursuant to § 906.34, or both, in connection with shipments made under § 906.42: Provided, That such inspection and assessment requirements shall not apply to fruit handled for canning or freezing.


(3) Handlers shall obtain certificates of privilege from the committee to handle fruit affected or to be affected under the provisions of §§ 906.41 and 906.42.


(b) The committee may rescind or deny certificates of privilege to any handler if proof is obtained that fruit handled by him for the purposes stated in §§ 906.41 and 906.42 was handled contrary to the provisions of this part.


(c) The Secretary shall have the right to modify, change, alter, or rescind any safeguards prescribed and any certificates issued by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this section.


(d) The committee shall make reports to the Secretary, as requested, showing the number of applications for such certificates, the quantity of fruit covered by such applications, the number of such applications denied and certificates granted, the quantity of fruit handled under duly issued certificates, and such other information as may be requested.


Inspection

§ 906.45 Inspection and certification.

(a) During any period in which handling of a variety of a type of fruit is regulated pursuant to §§ 906.34, 906.40, 906.42, or any combination thereof, no handler shall handle any variety of such type of fruit which has not been inspected by an authorized representative of the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service, unless such handling is relieved from such requirements pursuant to § 906.41 or § 906.42, or both;


(b) Regrading, resorting, or repacking any lot of fruit shall invalidate any prior inspection insofar as the requirements of this section are concerned. No handler shall handle fruit after it has been regraded, resorted, repacked, or in any other way prepared for market, unless each lot of fruit is inspected by an authorized representative of the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service: Provided, That the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may provide for waiving inspection requirements on any fruit in circumstances where it appears reasonably certain that, after regrading, resorting, or repacking, such fruit meets the applicable quality and other standards then in effect;


(c) Insofar as the requirements of this section are concerned, the length of time for which an inspection certificate is valid may be established by the committee with the approval of the Secretary;


(d) When fruit is inspected in accordance with the requirements of this section a copy of each inspection certificate issued shall be made available to the committee by the inspection service;


(e) The committee may recommend and the Secretary may require that any fruit handled or transported by motor vehicle shall be accompanied by a copy of the inspection certificate issued thereon, which certificate shall be surrendered to such authority as may be designated.


Reports

§ 906.51 Reports.

Upon request of the committee, made with the approval of the Secretary, each handler shall furnish to the committee, in such manner and at such time as it may prescribe, such reports and other information as may be necessary for the committee to perform its duties under this part.


(a) Such reports may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:


(1) The quantities of fruit received by a handler;


(2) The quantities disposed of by him, segregated as to the respective quantities subject to regulation and not subject to regulation;


(3) The date of each such disposition and the identification of the carrier transporting such fruit;


(4) Identification of the inspection certificates, and the certificates of privilege, if any, pursuant to which the fruit was handled, together with the destination of each lot of fruit handled pursuant to § 906.41.


(b) All such reports shall be held under appropriate protective classification and custody of the committee, or duly appointed employees thereof, so that the information contained therein which may adversely affect the competitive position of any handler in relation to other handlers will not be disclosed. Compilations of general reports from data submitted by handlers is authorized, subject to prohibition of disclosure of individual handlers identities or operations.


(c) Each handler shall maintain for at least two succeeding years such records of the fruit received and disposed of by such handler as may be necessary to verify the reports he submits to the committee pursuant to this section.


Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 906.52 Compliance.

Except as provided in this subpart, no handler shall handle fruit, the handling of which has been prohibited by the Secretary in accordance with provisions of this subpart, or the rules and regulations issued thereunder, and no handler shall handle fruit except in conformity to the provisions of this part.


§ 906.53 Right of the Secretary.

The members of the committee (including successors and alternates), and any agent or employee appointed or employed by the committee, shall be subject to removal or suspension by the Secretary at any time. Each and every order, regulation, decision, determination or other act of the committee shall be subject to the continuing right of the Secretary to disapprove of the same at any time. Upon such disapproval, the disapproved action of the said committee shall be deemed null and void, except as to acts done in reliance thereon or in compliance therewith prior to such disapproval by the Secretary.


§ 906.54 Effective time.

The provisions of this subpart, or any amendment thereto, shall become effective at such time as the Secretary may declare and shall continue in force until terminated in one of the ways specified in this subpart.


§ 906.55 Termination.

(a) The Secretary may, at any time, terminate the provisions of this subpart by giving at least one day’s notice by means of a press release or in any other manner he may determine.


(b) The Secretary may terminate or suspend the operation of any or all of the provisions of this subpart whenever he finds that such provisions do not tend to effectuate the declared policy.


(c) The Secretary shall terminate the provisions of this subpart at the end of any fiscal period whenever he finds that such termination is favored by a majority of producers who, during a representative period, have been engaged in the production of fruit for market: Provided, That such majority has, during such representative period, produced for market more than fifty percent of the volume of such fruit produced for market.


(d) The provisions of this subpart shall, in any event, terminate whenever the provisions of the act authorizing them cease to be in effect.


§ 906.56 Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of the provisions of this subpart the then functioning members of the committee shall, for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the committee continue as joint trustees of all the funds and property then in the possession of or under control of the committee, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered at the time of such termination. Action by said trusteeship shall require the concurrence of a majority of the said trustees.


(b) The said trustees shall continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary; shall, from time to time, account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of the committee and of the trustees, to such person as the Secretary may direct; and shall, upon the request of the Secretary, execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in such person full title and right to all funds, property, and claims vested in the committee or the trustees pursuant to this subpart.


(c) Any person to whom funds, property, or claims have been transferred or delivered by the committee or its members pursuant to this section, shall be subject to the same obligations imposed upon the members of the committee and upon the said trustees.


§ 906.57 Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the termination of this subpart or of any regulation issued pursuant to this subpart, or the issuance of any amendments to either thereof, shall not (a) affect or waive any right, duty, obligation, or liability which shall have arisen or which may thereafter arise in connection with any provision of this subpart or any regulation issued under this subpart, or (b) release or extinguish any violation of this subpart or of any regulations issued under this subpart, or (c) affect or impair any rights or remedies of the Secretary or of any other person with respect to any such violations.


§ 906.58 Duration of immunities.

The benefits, privileges, and immunities conferred upon any person by virtue of this subpart shall cease upon the termination of this subpart, except with respect to acts done under and during the existence of this subpart.


§ 906.59 Agents.

The Secretary may, by designation in writing, name any person, including any officer or employee of the United States, or name any agency in the United States Department of Agriculture, to act as his agent or representative in connection with any of the provisions of this subpart.


§ 906.60 Derogation.

Nothing contained in this subpart is, or shall be construed to be, in derogation or in modification of the rights of the Secretary or of the United States to exercise any powers granted by the act or otherwise, or in accordance with such powers, to act in the premises whenever such action is deemed advisable.


§ 906.61 Personal liability.

No member or alternate of the committee or any employee or agent thereof, shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly with others, in any way whatsoever, to any handler or to any person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as such member, alternate, agent, or employee, except for act of dishonesty, willful misconduct, or gross negligence.


§ 906.62 Separability.

If any provision of this subpart is declared invalid, or the applicability thereof to any person, circumstance, or thing is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this subpart, or the applicability thereof to any other person, circumstance, or things, shall not be affected thereby.


Subpart B – Administrative Requirements

§ 906.120 Fruit exempt from regulations.

(a) Minimum quantity. Any person or the occupants of any one vehicle may ship fruit from the production area during any one day exempt from the requirements of §§ 906.34, 906.40, and 906.45, and regulations issued thereunder: Provided, That the shipment does not exceed 400 pounds of fruit (either oranges or grapefruit or a combination of both), it consists solely of fruit not for resale, and it is not part of a shipment of fruit exceeding 400 pounds.


(b) Processing. The term processing as used in § 906.42(b) means the manufacture of any orange or grapefruit product which has been converted into sectioned fruit or into fresh juice, or preserved by any commercial process, including canning, freezing, dehydrating, drying, and the addition of chemical substances, or by fermentation. Fruit so processed, if handled in accordance with § 906.123, shall be exempt from the provisions of §§ 906.34 and 906.40.


(c) Special purpose shipments and safeguards. (1) Fruit may be handled for relief or charity exempt from the requirements of §§ 906.34, 906.40, and 906.45 and the regulations issued thereunder: Provided, That the fruit shall not be offered for resale, and the handler submits, prior to any such handling, an application to the committee on forms provided by the committee. The application shall contain the name and address of the handler and such other information that the committee may require including, but not limited to, the quantity of fruit involved, license number of the conveyance, and supporting documentation. Approval of the application by the committee shall be evidenced by the issuance of a certificate of privilege to the applicant in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.


(2) Gift packages of fruit handled pursuant to § 906.41 shall be in containers stamped or marked with the handler’s name and address.


(3) Fruit may be handled exempt from regulations issued pursuant to § 906.40(d), if the following conditions are met:


(i) Each fiscal period the handler submits prior to such handling a written application to the committee on forms provided by the committee. The application shall contain the name and address of the handler, and a description of the container or containers in which such fruit would be handled.


(ii) The fruit grades at least U.S. No. 1.


(iii) The fruit is handled in closed fully telescopic fiberboard cartons with inside dimensions of 16
1/2 × 10
3/4 × 10
1/2 inches, and the cover and bottom section have a Mullen or Cady test of at least 250 pounds; in six-packs; in 12-packs; in baskets of a capacity of 1 bushel or less; or in any of the containers authorized under § 906.340, provided they are stamped or marked special purpose shipment.


(iv) Each handler shall file a report with the committee within 1 business day after each shipment handled pursuant to paragraph (c)(3). Such report shall contain the name and address of the handler; date fruit is handled; the number and type of containers and packs in such shipment; the inspection certificate numbers applicable to such shipment; name and address of the purchaser; and the license number of the truck, trailer, or automobile, as the case may be, in which the shipment was loaded.


(4) Oranges and grapefruit grown in the production area may be handled exempt from container and pack regulations issued pursuant to § 906.40(d), under the following conditions:


(i) Such oranges and/or grapefruit grown in the production area are mixed with other types of fruit;


(ii) Such oranges and/or grapefruit grown in the production area constitute at least one-third by volume of the contents of any container, and any such container is not larger than a
7/10 bushel carton.


(iii) Such grapefruit grown in the production area grade at least U.S. No. 1, and such oranges grown in the production area grade at least U.S. Combination (with not less than 60 percent, by count, of the oranges in any lot grading at least U.S. No.1).


(d) The committee or its duly authorized agents, shall approve or deny each handler’s request to handle fruit under paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(3) of this section and promptly notify such handler in writing of its decision: Provided, That if it approves a handler’s request, it shall issue a certificate of privilege as provided in § 906.44, but if it denies a request it shall advise the handler why the application was denied. The committee may rescind a certificate of privilege issued to a handler, or deny a certificate of privilege to a handler upon proof satisfactory to the committee that such handler has shipped fruit contrary to the provisions of this part. Such action denying a certificate of privilege shall apply to and not exceed a reasonable period of time as determined by the committee. Any handler who has had a certificate of privilege rescinded or denied may file a written appeal with the committee for reconsideration.


(e) Terms. The term bushel means a unit of measure equivalent to 2,150.42 cubic inches; the term six-pack means any container with a capacity of one-fourth of a bushel, the term basket means any container made of interwoven material; the term closed means closed in accordance with good commercial practices; and terms relating to grade mean the same as in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona) (7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653), or in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona) (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714).


[25 FR 9757, Oct. 12, 1960. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 39 FR 44736, Dec. 27, 1974; 40 FR 3286, Jan. 21, 1975; 44 FR 75103, Dec. 19, 1979; 48 FR 50502, Nov. 2, 1983; 49 FR 3173, Jan. 26, 1984; 54 FR 18095, Apr. 27, 1989; 59 FR 50826, Oct. 6, 1994; 59 FR 63693, Dec. 9, 1994; 60 FR 13892, Mar. 15, 1995; 70 FR 51578, Aug. 31, 2005]


§ 906.121 Reestablishment of districts.

The three districts of the production area specified in § 906.20 Districts are reestablished as a single district comprising the entire production area.


[34 FR 6651, Apr. 18, 1969]


§ 906.122 [Reserved]

§ 906.123 Fruit for processing.

(a) No person shall be granted exemption from regulation to handle oranges and grapefruit for processing unless such fruit is shipped to an approved processor. All such shipments to an approved processor shall be reported to the committee on a form approved by it.


(b) Approved processor. Any person who desires to acquire, as an approved processor, fruit for processing, as set forth in § 906.120(b), shall, prior thereto, file an application with the committee on a form approved by it, which shall contain, but not be limited to, the following information:


(1) Name and address of applicant;


(2) Location of plant or plants where manufacturing is to take place;


(3) Approximate quantity of fruit used each month;


(4) A statement that the fruit obtained exempt from fresh fruit regulations will not be resold or transferred for resale, directly or indirectly, but will be used only for processing;


(5) A statement agreeing to hold a license issued under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act, 1930 (7 U.S.C. 499r), and regulations issued thereunder (7 CFR part 46) when buying Texas oranges and grapefruit for processing;


(6) A statement agreeing to undergo random inspection by the committee;


(7) A statement that the requesting processor has no facilities, equipment, or outlet to repack or sell fruit in fresh form;


(8) A statement agreeing to submit such reports as are required by the committee.


Such application shall be investigated by the committee staff. After such investigation, the staff shall report its findings to the committee at its next meeting or to its delegated subcommittee. Based upon the staff’s report and other reliable information, the committee or delegated subcommittee shall approve or disapprove the application and notify the applicant accordingly. If the application is approved, the applicant’s name shall be placed upon the list of approved processors.

(c) Certificate by processors. Upon request by the committee each approved processor shall submit to the committee on or before the 10th day of each month a report of the oranges and grapefruit used during the preceding calendar month. Each report shall contain a certificate to the United States Department of Agriculture and to the committee as to the truthfulness of the information shown therein.


(d) Diversion report. Each handler who ships fruit to processors for processing shall report to the committee on a form approved by it the following information:


(1) Name and address of the processor’s place of business where the fruit was shipped;


(2) The net weight of oranges or grapefruit;


(3) Truck license number or rail car initial and number;


(4) Inspection certificate number; and


(5) Such other information as the committee may require.


The handler shall prepare 4 copies of the report and sign them. The original copy shall be submitted to the committee within 7 days. One copy shall be retained by the handler. One copy shall be given to the party transporting the fruit who, upon arrival at the processor’s place of business, shall turn it over to the party receiving the fruit with the understanding that the processor will record thereon the actual net weight of the fruit received and forward such copy to the committee office. One copy shall be submitted to the processor along with the invoice.

[39 FR 44736, Dec. 27, 1974, as amended at 54 FR 18095, Apr. 27, 1989]


§ 906.137 Handlers use of identifying marks utilized by the committee in promotional and advertising projects.

(a) Pursuant to § 906.37, the identifying marks “Texasweet”, “Sweeter By Nature”, “Texas Fancy”, and “Texas Choice” shall be available to handlers only under the following terms and conditions:


(1) The identifying marks “Texasweet” and “Sweeter by Nature” may severally or jointly be affixed only to containers of grapefruit or to individual grapefruit comprising a lot which grades at least U.S. No. 1.


(2) The identifying mark “Texas Fancy” may be affixed only to containers of grapefruit or to individual grapefruit comprising a lot which grades at least U.S. No. 1 with no more than 40 percent of the surface of the grapefruit, in the aggregate, affected by discoloration.


(3) The identifying mark “Texas Choice” may be affixed only to containers of grapefruit or to individual grapefruit comprising a lot which grades at least U.S. No. 2, with no more than 60 percent of the surface of the grapefruit, in the aggregate, affected by discoloration.


(4) The identifying marks “Texasweet” and “Sweeter by Nature” may severally or jointly be affixed only to containers of oranges or to individual oranges comprising a lot which grades at least U.S. Combination, with not less than 60 percent, by count, of the oranges in each container thereof grading at least U.S. No. 1 and the remainder U.S. No. 2.


(5) The identifying mark “Texas Choice” may be affixed only to containers of oranges or to individual oranges comprising a lot which grades at least U.S. No. 2, except that in determining whether the fruit is reasonably well colored the yellow or orange color must predominate over the green color on at least 75 percent of the fruit surface in the aggregate which is not discolored.


(b) When used herein, terms relating to grade shall have the same meaning as is given to the respective term in the U.S. Standards for Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona) (7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653) and in the U.S. Standards for Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona) (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714).


[33 FR 14069, Sept. 17, 1968, as amended at 53 FR 40398, Oct. 17, 1988; 53 FR 50916, Dec. 19, 1988; 70 FR 51578, Aug. 31, 2005]


§ 906.151 Reports.

(a) During each fiscal period, each handler shall upon request by the committee file with the committee within the time specified in the request an accurate report showing the total quantity or oranges and the total quantity of grapefruit received by him during such fiscal period or the preceding fiscal period, as requested.


(b) Each handler who sells over 400 pounds of oranges or grapefruit or a combination of both for resale inside the production area shall, for each transaction, report to the committee on a form approved by it the following information:


(1) Name and address of seller;


(2) Name and address of buyer;


(3) Description and quantity of oranges or grapefruit sold;


(4) Destination of fruit;


(5) A statement that the buyer certifies that fruit that is subsequently taken outside the production area for resale will be inspected; and


(6) Such other pertinent information as the committee may require.


(c) The handler shall prepare the report in triplicate. The buyer shall sign the certification statement. The pink copy shall be submitted to the committee within 7 days. The white copy shall be retained by the handler and the canary copy shall be given to the buyer. Such form shall be reviewed by the committee staff and the information compiled for the committee’s use.


[34 FR 6651, Apr. 18, 1969, as amended at 61 FR 64255, Dec. 4, 1996; 62 FR 3603, Jan. 24, 1997]


§ 906.235 Assessment rate.

On and after August 1, 2021, an assessment rate of $0.05 per 7/10-bushel carton or equivalent is established for oranges and grapefruit grown in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas


[87 FR 22105, Apr. 14, 2022]


Subpart C – Container and Pack Requirements

§ 906.340 Container, pack, and container marking regulations.

(a) No handler shall handle any variety of oranges or grapefruit grown in the production area unless such fruit is in one of the following containers, and the fruit is packed and the containers are marked as specified in this section:


(1) Containers. (i) Closed fiberboard carton with approximate inside dimensions of 13
1/4 x 10
1/2 x 7
1/4 inches: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 200 pounds;


(ii) Closed fully telescopic fiberboard carton with approximate inside dimensions of 16
1/2 x 10
3/4 x 9
1/2 inches (Standard carton);


(iii) Poly or mesh bags having a capacity of 4, 5, 8, 10, or 18 pounds of fruit;


(iv) Rectangular or octagonal bulk fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 to 47
1/2 inches in length, 37 to 38 inches in width, and 36 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit;


(v) Rectangular or octagonal
2/3 fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 to 47
1/2 inches in length, 37 to 38 inches in width, and 24 inches in height: Provided, That the crib has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit;


(vi) Octagonal fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 46 to 47
1/2 inches in width, 37 to 38 inches in depth, and 26 to 26
1/2 inches in height: Provided, That the crib has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,300 pounds, and that it is used only once for the shipment of citrus fruit: And Provided further, That the crib may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit;


(vii) Fiberboard box holding two layers of fruit, with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15
1/2 inches in width, and 7 inches in depth;


(viii) Reusable collapsible plastic container with approximate dimensions of 23 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 7 to 11 inches in depth;


(ix) Reusable collapsible plastic bin with approximate dimensions of 36
3/4 x 44
3/4 x 27 inches;


(x) Octagonal bulk triple wall fiberboard crib with approximate dimensions of 37
3/4 inches in length, 25 inches in width, and 25 inches in height: Provided, That the container has a Mullen or Cady test of at least 1,100 pounds: And Provided further, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit;


(xi) Bag having the capacity of 15 pounds of fruit, either in a combination
1/2 poly and
1/2 mesh bag or mesh bag;


(xii) Reusable collapsible plastic mini bin with approximate dimensions of 39
1/2 inches in length, 24 inches in width, and 30
1/2 inches in height: Provided, That the container may be used to pack any poly or mesh bags authorized in this section, or bulk fruit;


(xiii) Bag having the capacity of three pounds of fruit;


(xiv) Standard carton with approximate inside dimensions of 16.375 x 10.6875 x 10.25 inches;


(xv)
8/5 Body master carton with approximate inside dimensions of 19.5385 x 13.125 x 11.625 inches, one piece;


(xvi) Euro
8/5 (5 Down) with approximate inside dimensions of 22.813 x 14.688 x 7.0 up to 7.936 inches;


(xvii) Fiberboard one piece display container with approximate inside dimensions of 23 inches x 15 inches x 9
1/2 up to 10
1/2 inches in depth;


(xviii) Such types and sizes of containers as may be approved by the committee for testing in connection with a research project conducted by or in cooperation with the committee: Provided, That the handling of each lot of fruit in such test containers shall be subject to prior approval and under the supervision of the committee.


(2) Pack regulation – (i) Oranges. (A) Oranges, when packed in any carton, bag, or other container, shall be sized in accordance with the sizes in the following Table I, and meet the requirements of standard pack; and, when in containers not packed according to a definite pattern, shall be sized in accordance with the sizes in Table I and otherwise meet the requirements of standard sizing: Provided, That the packing tolerances in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona), shall apply to fruit so packed. All fruit packed to size 163 in the following Table I shall be sized in accordance with the sizes in Table I but need not otherwise meet the requirements of standard sizing or standard pack: Provided, That they meet the same tolerances for off-size and pack as defined in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona):


Table I – Oranges

[
7/10 bushel carton]

Rack size/

number of

oranges
Diameter in inches
Minimum
Maximum
243
12/16
5
1/16
323
6/16
4
9/16
363
4/16
4
6/16
403
2/16
4
4/16
482
15/16
4
562
13/16
3
13/16
642
11/16
3
10/16
722
9/16
3
8/16
882
8/16
3
4/16
1132
7/16
3
1382
6/16
2
12/16
1632
3/16
2
8/16

(B) If
7/10 bushel containers of oranges are marked, the count of fruit in each container shall not be less than the count marked on the container, but may exceed the count marked on the container by not more than 8 percent. When packed in marked containers other than
7/10 bushel, the pack sizes applicable to
7/10 bushel containers shall also apply to such containers.


(ii) Grapefruit. (A) Grapefruit, when packed in any carton, bag, or other container, shall be sized in accordance with the sizes in the following Table II, except as otherwise provided in the regulations issued pursuant to this part, and meet the requirements of standard pack; and, when in containers not packed according to a definite pattern, shall be sized in accordance with the sizes in Table II: Provided, That the packing tolerances in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona), shall apply to fruit so packed. All fruit packed to size 64 in the following Table II shall be sized in accordance with the sizes in Table II but need not otherwise meet the requirements of standard pack: Provided, That they meet the same tolerances for off-size and pack as defined in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona).


Table II – Grapefruit

[
7/10 Bushel carton]

Pack size/

number of

grapefruit
Diameter in inches
Minimum
Maximum
184
15/16
5
9/16
234
5/16
5
274
2/16
4
12/16
323
15/16
4
8/16
363
13/16
4
5/16
403
10/16
4
2/16
483
9/16
3
14/16
563
5/16
3
10/16
6433
8/16

(B) If
7/10 bushel containers of grapefruit are marked, the count of fruit in the container shall not be less than the count marked on the container, but may exceed the count marked on the container by not more than 8 percent. When packed in marked containers other than
7/10 bushel, the pack sizes applicable to
7/10 bushel containers shall also apply to such containers.


(3) Container grade markings. Except when the identifying marks “Texas Choice” or “Texas Fancy” are used by handlers pursuant to § 906.137, any container of U.S. No. 2 grade fruit shall be marked to indicate the grade of the fruit in letters and numbers at least three-fourths inch in height: Provided, That bags containing five or eight pounds of fruit shall be so marked with letters and numbers at least one-fourth inch in height prominently displayed on the front panel of the bag. The requirements of this paragraph (a)(3) will not be effective until February 16, 1992.


(b) Nonapplicability. The provisions of this section shall not apply to gift packages of fruit.


(c) As used herein, terms relating to grade, pack, standard pack, and diameter mean the same as defined in the United States Standards for Grades of Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona), (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714), or in the United States Standards for Grades of Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona), (7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653); and closed means closed in accordance with good commercial practices.


[33 FR 11542, Aug. 14, 1968]


Editorial Note:For Federal Register citations affecting § 906.340, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§ 906.365 Texas Orange and Grapefruit Regulation 34.

(a) No handler shall handle any variety of oranges or grapefruit grown in the production area unless:


(1) Such oranges grade U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 1 Bright, U.S. No. 1 Bronze, U.S. Combination (with not less than 60 percent, by count, of the oranges in any lot thereof grading at least U.S. No. 1), or U.S. No. 2;


(2) Such oranges are at least pack size 163 with a minimum diameter of 2-3/16 inches;


(3) Such grapefruit grade U.S. Fancy, U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 1 Bright, or U.S. No. 1 Bronze, or meet the quality requirements of “Texas Fancy” or “Texas Choice” as defined in § 906.137 of this part;


(4) Such grapefruit are at least pack size 64 with a minimum diameter of 3 inches.


(5) An appropriate inspection certificate has been issued for such fruit within 48 hours prior to the time of shipment. No handler may transport by motor vehicle or cause the transportation of any shipment of fruit for which an inspection certificate is required unless each such shipment is accompanied by a copy of the inspection certificate applicable thereto, and a copy of such inspection certificate is surrendered upon request to Texas Department of Agriculture personnel designated by the committee.


(6) The fruit meets all the applicable container and pack requirements effective under this marketing order.


(7) Beginning in 1995, this paragraph (a) is suspended each year from July 1 through August 31 of each year.


(b) Terms relating to grade, pack size, and diameter shall mean the same as in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Oranges (Texas and States other than Florida, California, and Arizona) (7 CFR 51.680 through 51.714) or in the U.S. Standards for Grades of Grapefruit (Texas and States other than Florida, California and Arizona) (7 CFR 51.620 through 51.653).


[47 FR 1266, Jan. 12, 1982, as amended at 51 FR 41070, Nov. 13, 1986; 54 FR 3421, Jan. 24, 1989; 54 FR 41584, Oct. 11, 1989; 56 FR 55983, Oct. 31, 1991; 58 FR 52401, Oct. 8, 1993; 58 FR 54926, Oct. 25, 1993; 59 FR 56383, Nov. 14, 1994; 60 FR 33679, June 29, 1995; 60 FR 54292, Oct. 23, 1995; 61 FR 43141, Aug. 21, 1996; 64 FR 47358, Aug. 31, 1999; 79 FR 11297, 11300, Feb. 28, 2014]


PART 915 – AVOCADOS GROWN IN SOUTH FLORIDA


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Source:19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961.

Subpart A – Order Regulating Handling

Definitions

§ 915.1 Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or any officer or employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who is, or may hereafter be, authorized to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States.


§ 915.2 Act.

Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (May 12, 1933), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (48 Stat. 31, as amended, 68 Stat. 906, 1047; 7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


§ 915.3 Person.

Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association or any other business unit.


§ 915.4 Production area.

Production area means the counties of Brevard, Orange, Lake, Polk, Hillsborough, and Pinellas in the State of Florida, and all of the counties of that State situated south of such counties.


[20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


§ 915.5 Avocados.

Avocados means all varieties of avocados grown in the production area.


§ 915.6 Fiscal year.

Fiscal year means the twelve-month period ending March 31 of each year.


§ 915.7 Committee.

Committee means the Avocado Administrative Committee established pursuant to § 915.20.


§ 915.8 Grower.

Grower is synonymous with producer and means any person who produces avocados for market and who has a proprietary interest therein: Provided, That as used in § 915.22 the term grower shall include only those who have a proprietary interest in the production of 10 or more bearing avocado trees.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


§ 915.9 Handler.

Handler is synonymous with shipper and means any person (except a common or contract carrier transporting avocados owned by another person) who handles avocados or causes avocados to be handled.


§ 915.10 Handle.

Handle means to sell, consign, deliver, or transport avocados within the production area or between the production area and any point outside thereof: Provided, That such term shall not include: (a) The sale or delivery of avocados to a handler, registered as such with the committee in accordance with such rules and regulations as it may prescribe with the approval of the Secretary, who has facilities within the production area for preparing avocados for market; (b) the delivery of avocados to such a handler solely for the purpose of having such avocados prepared for market; or (c) the transportation of avocados by a handler, so registered with the committee, from the grove to his packing facilities within the production area for the purpose of having such avocados prepared for market. In the event a grower sells his avocados to a handler who is not so registered with the committee, such grower shall be the first handler of such avocados.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


§ 915.11 District.

District means the applicable one of the following described subdivisions of the production area:


(a) District 1 shall include Miami-Dade County.


(b) District 2 shall include all of the production area except Miami-Dade County.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]


§ 915.12 Export.

Export means to ship avocados to any destination which is not within the 48 contiguous States of the District of Columbia of the United States or Canada.


[43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978]


Administrative Body

§ 915.20 Establishment and membership.

(a) There is hereby established an Avocado Administrative Committee consisting of nine members, each of whom shall have an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member for whom he is an alternate. Five of the members and their respective alternates shall be growers who shall not be handlers of avocados produced by others or employees of such handlers. Four of the members and their respective alternates shall be handlers or employees of handlers. The five members of the committee who shall be growers who shall not be handlers of avocados produced by others or employees of such handlers are referred to as “grower” members of the committee; and the four members who shall be handlers or employees of handlers are referred to as “handler” members of the committee. Four of the five grower members shall be producers of avocados in District 1, and one grower member shall be a producer of avocados in District 2. Three of the four handler members shall be handlers, or employees of handlers, of avocados in District 1, and one handler member shall be a handler, or an employee of a handler, of avocados in District 2. No handler or handler organization shall be permitted to have more than one handler member and alternate on the committee from each district: Provided, That this requirement may be waived by the Secretary in the event that there are not enough persons available to be nominated and selected to serve on the committee.


(b) The committee may be increased by one public member and an alternate. Persons for the public member positions would be nominated by the committee and selected by the Secretary. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, shall prescribe qualifications, term of office and the procedure for nominating the public member and alternate.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 30 FR 917, Jan. 29, 1965; 43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978; 52 FR 7118, Mar. 9, 1987]


§ 915.21 Term of office.

The term of office of each member and alternate member of the committee shall begin April 1, and shall terminate March 31 of the following year. Members and alternate members shall serve in such capacities for the portion of the term of office for which they are selected and qualify and until their respective successors are selected and have qualified. The consecutive terms of office of members shall be limited to three terms.


§ 915.22 Nomination.

(a) Initial members. Nominations for each of the five initial grower members and four initial handler members of the committee, together with nominations for the initial alternate members for each position, may be submitted to the Secretary by individual growers and handlers. Such nominations may be made by means of group meetings of the growers and handlers concerned in each district. Such nominations, if made, shall be filed with the Secretary no later than ten calendar days prior to the effective date hereof. In the event nominations for initial members and alternate members of the committee; or the filed pursuant to, and within the time specified in, this section, the Secretary may select such initial members and alternate members without regard to nominations, but selections shall be on the basis of the representation provided for in § 915.20.


(b) Successor members. (1) The committee shall hold or cause to be held a meeting or meetings of growers and handlers in each district to designate nominees for successor members and alternate members of the committee; or the committee may conduct nominations in Districts 1 and 2 by mail in a manner recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary. Such nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary by the committee not later than March 1 of each year. The committee shall prescribe procedural rules, not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, for the conduct of nomination.


(2) Only growers may participate in the nomination and election of nominees for grower members and their alternates. Each grower shall be entitled to cast only one vote for each nominee to be elected in the district in which he produced avocados. No grower shall participate in the election of nominees in more than one district in any one fiscal year.


(3) Only handlers may participate in the nomination and election of nominees for handler members and their alternates. Each handler shall be entitled to cast only one vote for each nominee to be elected in the district in which such handler handles avocados. Each vote shall be weighted by the volume of avocados shipped by such handler during the immediately preceding twelve-month period, January through December.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 40 FR 52605, Nov. 11, 1975; 40 FR 59719, Dec. 30, 1975; 52 FR 7118, Mar. 9, 1987; 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]


§ 915.23 Selection.

From the nominations made pursuant to § 915.22, or from other qualified persons, the Secretary shall select the five grower members of the committee, the four handler members of the committee, and an alternate for each such member.


§ 915.24 Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and in the manner prescribed in § 915.22, the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select the members and alternate members of the committee on the basis of the representation provided for in § 915.20.


§ 915.25 Acceptance.

Any person selected by the Secretary as a member or as an alternate member of the committee shall qualify by filing a written acceptance with the Secretary within ten days after being notified of such selection.


§ 915.26 Vacancies.

To fill any vacancy occasioned by the failure of any person selected as a member or as an alternate member of the committee to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any member or alternate member of the committee, a successor for the unexpired term of such member or alternate member of the committee shall be nominated and selected in the manner specified in §§ 915.22 and 915.23. If the names of nominees to fill any such vacancy are not made available to the Secretary within fifteen days after such vacancy occurs, the Secretary may fill such vacancy without regard to nominations, which selection shall be made on the basis of representation provided for in § 915.20.


§ 915.27 Alternate members.

An alternate member of the committee, during the absence or at the request of the member for whom he is an alternate, shall act in the place and stead of such member. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member, his alternate shall act for him until a successor for such member is selected and has qualified. In the event both a member and his alternate are unable to attend a committee meeting, the chairman may designate any alternate who is present and who is not serving for any member to serve in such absent member’s place and stead: Provided, That only grower alternate members may be so designated to serve for grower members and only handler alternate members may be so designated to serve only for handler members.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16627, Oct. 27, 1970]


§ 915.28 Powers.

The committee shall have the following powers:


(a) To administer the provisions of this part in accordance with its terms;


(b) To receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of the provisions of this part;


(c) To make and adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part; and


(d) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part.


§ 915.29 Duties.

The committee shall have, among others, the following duties:


(a) To select a chairman and such other officers as may be necessary, and to define the duties of such officers;


(b) To appoint such employees, agents, and representatives as it may deem necessary, and to determine the compensation and to define the duties of each;


(c) To submit to the Secretary as soon as practicable after the beginning of each fiscal year a budget for such fiscal year, including a report in explanation of the items appearing therein and a recommendation as to the rate of assessment for such fiscal year;


(d) To keep minutes, books, and records which will reflect all of the acts and transactions of the committee and which shall be subject to examination by the Secretary;


(e) To prepare periodic statements of the financial operations of the committee and to make copies of each such statement available to growers and handlers for examination at the office of the committee;


(f) To cause its books to be audited by a certified public accountant at least once each fiscal year, and at such other times as the Secretary may request;


(g) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any grower or handler;


(h) To investigate growing and maturity conditions of avocados, and to assemble data in connection therewith;


(i) To engage in such research relating to the determination of maturity and grade standards for avocados as may be approved by the Secretary;


(j) To submit to the Secretary such available information as he may request;


(k) To notify, as provided in this part, producers and handlers of all meetings of the committee to consider recommendations for regulation;


(l) To give the Secretary the same notice of meetings of the committee as is given to its members;


(m) To consult with such representatives of growers or groups of growers as may be deemed necessary and to pay the travel expenses incurred by such representatives in attending committee meetings at the request of the committee: Provided, That the committee shall not pay the travel expenses of more than three such representatives in connection with any one meeting of the committee; and


(n) To investigate compliance with the provisions of this part.


§ 915.30 Procedure.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, six members of the committee, including alternates acting for members, shall constitute a quorum and any decision, recommendation or other action of the committee shall require not less than five concurring votes including one by a handler, or an alternate acting as such: Provided, That if the committee is increased by one, the quorum requirement shall be increased to seven and any decision, recommendation or other action of the committee shall require not less than six concurring votes including one by a handler, or an alternate acting as such.


(b) The committee may provide for simultaneous meetings of groups of its members assembled at two or more designated places: Provided, That such meetings shall be subject to the establishment of telephone communication between all such groups and the availability of loud speaker receivers for each group so that each member may participate in the discussions and other actions the same as if the committee were assembled in one place.


(c) For any recommendation of the committee for an assessment rate change, a quorum of seven committee members and a two-thirds majority vote of approval of those in attendance is required.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978; 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]


§ 915.31 Expenses.

The members of the committee and their respective alternates when performing duties at the direction of the committee, shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties under this part.


[43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978]


§ 915.32 Annual report.

The committee shall, as soon as practicable after the close of each fiscal year, prepare and mail an annual report to the Secretary, and to each handler and grower who requests a copy of the report. This annual report shall contain at least: (a) A complete review, by districts, of the regulatory operations during the fiscal year; (b) an appraisal of the effect of such regulatory operations upon the avocado industry; and (c) any recommendations for changes in the program.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


Expenses and Assessments

§ 915.40 Expenses.

The committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred to enable the committee to exercise its powers and perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this part during each fiscal year. The funds to cover such expenses shall be acquired by the levying of assessments as provided for in § 915.41.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16627, Oct. 27, 1970]


§ 915.41 Assessments.

(a) Each person who first handles avocados shall, with respect to the avocados so handled by him, pay to the committee upon demand such person’s pro rata share of the expenses which the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the committee during each fiscal year. Each such person’s share of such expenses shall be equal to the ratio between the total quantity of avocados handled by him as the first handler thereof during the applicable fiscal year, and the total quantity of avocados so handled by all persons during the same fiscal year. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative. If a handler does not pay his assessment within the time prescribed by the committee, the unpaid assessment may be subject to an interest charge at rates prescribed by the committee with the approval of the Secretary.


(b) The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment per 55-pounds of fruit or equivalent in any container or in bulk, to be paid by each such handler. At any time during or after a fiscal year, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment, in order to secure sufficient funds to cover any later finding by the Secretary relative to the expense which may be incurred. Such increase shall be applied to all fruit handled during the applicable fiscal year. In order to provide funds for the administration of the provisions of this part, the committee may accept the payment of assessments in advance, or borrow money on an emergency short-term basis. The authority of the committee to borrow money is subject to approval of the Secretary and may be used only to meet financial obligations as the obligations occur or to allow the committee to adjust its reserve funds to meet such obligations.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16627, Oct. 27, 1970; 40 FR 52605, Nov. 11, 1975; 43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978; 73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]


§ 915.42 Accounting.

(a) If, at the end of a fiscal year, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, such excess shall be accounted for as follows:


(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, each person entitled to a proportionate refund of the excess assessment shall be credited with such refund against the operation of the following fiscal year unless such person demands repayment thereof, in which event it shall be paid to him: Provided, That any sum paid by a person in excess of his pro rata share of the expenses during any fiscal year may be applied by the committee at the end of such fiscal year to any outstanding obligations due the committee from such person.


(2) The Secretary, upon recommendation of the committee, may determine that it is appropriate for the maintenance and functioning of the committee that the funds remaining at the end of a fiscal year which are in excess of the expenses necessary for committee operations during such year may be carried over into following years as a reserve. Such reserve may be established at an amount not to exceed approximately 3 fiscal years’ operational expenses. Funds in the reserve may be used to cover the necessary expenses of liquidation, in the event of termination of this part, and to cover the expenses incurred for the maintenance and functioning of the committee during any fiscal year when there is crop failure, or during any period of suspension of any or all of the provisions of this part. Such reserve may also be used by the committee to finance its operations during any fiscal year prior to the time that assessment income is sufficient to cover such expenses and to cover deficits incurred during any fiscal year when income is less than expenses. Upon termination of this part, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate: Provided, That to the extent practical, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.


(b) All funds received by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this part shall be used solely for the purposes specified in this part, and shall be accounted for in the manner provided in this part. The Secretary may, at any time, require the committee and its members to account for all receipts and disbursements.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 22 FR 3513, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 35 FR 16628, Oct. 27, 1970; 43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978]


§ 915.43 Contributions.

The committee may accept voluntary contributions. Such contributions shall be free from any encumbrances by the donor and the committee shall retain complete control of their use.


[73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]


Research and Development

§ 915.45 Production research, marketing research and development.

The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, establish or provide for the establishment of production research, marketing research and development projects designed to assist, improve or promote the marketing, distribution, and consumption or efficient production of avocados. Such products may provide for any form of marketing promotion, including paid advertising. The expenses of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to the applicable provisions of § 915.41, or from such other funds as approved by the USDA.


[73 FR 6837, Feb. 6, 2008]


§ 915.49 Marketing policy.

Each season prior to making any recommendations pursuant to § 915.50, the committee shall submit to the Secretary a report setting forth its marketing policy for the ensuing season. Such marketing policy report shall contain information relative to (a) the estimated total production of avocados within the production area; (b) the expected general quality and maturity of avocados in the production area and in competing areas; (c) the expected demand conditions for avocados in different market outlets; (d) the expected shipments of avocados produced in the production area and competing areas; (e) supplies of competing commodities; (f) trend and level of consumer income; (g) other factors having a bearing on the marketing of avocados; and (h) the type of regulations expected to be recommended during the season. In the event it becomes advisable, because of changes in the supply and demand situation for avocados, to modify substantially such marketing policy, the committee shall submit to the Secretary a revised marketing policy report setting forth the information prescribed in this section. The committee shall publicly announce the contents of each marketing policy report and copies thereof shall be maintained in the offices of the committee where they shall be available for examination by growers and handlers.


[40 FR 52605, Nov. 11, 1975]


Regulations

§ 915.50 Recommendations for regulation.

(a) Whenever the committee deems it advisable to regulate the handling of any variety or varieties of avocados grown in District 1 or District 2 in the manner provided in § 915.51, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.


(b) In arriving at its recommendations pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the committee shall give consideration to such of the following factors as may be applicable:


(1) The estimated total production and shipments of each variety of avocados, including avocados grown in other areas;


(2) The time of bloom and growing conditions during the development of the crop;


(3) The quality of the avocado crop;


(4) The anticipated demand for avocados; and


(5) Other available information having a bearing on the market for avocados with each recommendation for regulation the committee shall submit to the Secretary the data and information on which such recommendation is predicated, and such other available information as the Secretary may request.


(c) All meetings of the committee held for the purpose of formulating recommendations for regulations shall be open to growers and handlers. The committee shall give notice of such meetings to growers and handlers by mailing such notice to each grower and handler who has filed his address with the committee and requested such notice.


§ 915.51 Issuance of regulations.

(a) The Secretary shall regulate, in the manner specified in this section, the handling of avocados whenever he finds, from the recommendations and information submitted by the committee or from other available information, that such regulations will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act. Such regulations may:


(1) Prohibit, prior to such time as shall be specified, the handling of any size or sizes of any variety or varieties of avocados grown in District 1 or District 2.


(2) Prohibit the handling of any variety or varieties of avocados grown in District 1 or District 2 which do not meet such quality and maturity standards as shall be prescribed.


(3) Limit the shipment of the total quantity of avocados by prohibiting the shipment thereof: Provided, That no such prohibition shall be effective during any fiscal period, other than for four periods not exceeding six days each immediately prior to, including, or following July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.


(4) Fix the size, capacity, weight, dimensions, or pack of the container or containers which may be used in the packaging, and the transportation, sale, shipment or other handling of avocados.


(5) Establish and prescribe pack specifications for the grading and packing of any variety or varieties of avocados and require that all avocados handled shall be packed in accordance with such pack specifications, and shall be identified by appropriate labels, seals, stamps, or tags, affixed to the containers by the handler under the supervision of the committee or an inspector of the Federal-State Inspection Service, showing the particular pack specifications of the lot.


(6) Provide that any or all requirements effective pursuant to paragraphs (a)(1), (2), (3), and (4) of this section applicable to the handling of avocados shall be different for the handling of avocados within the production area and for the handling of avocados between the production area and any point outside thereof.


(7) Prescribe requirements, as provided in this paragraph, applicable to exports of any variety of avocados which are different from those applicable to the handling of the same variety to other destinations.


(b) The committee shall be informed immediately of any such regulations issued by the Secretary and the committee shall promptly give notice thereof to growers and handlers.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955; 22 FR 3514, May 21, 1957. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 36 FR 14126, July 30, 1971; 40 FR 52606, Nov. 11, 1975; 43 FR 39322, Sept. 5, 1978]


§ 915.52 Modification, suspension, or termination of regulations.

(a) In the event the committee at any time finds that, by reason of changed conditions, any regulations issued pursuant to § 915.51 should be modified, suspended, or terminated, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.


(b) Whenever the Secretary finds, from the recommendations and information submitted by the committee or from other available information, that a regulation should be modified, suspended, or terminated with respect to any or all shipments of avocados in order to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall modify, suspend, or terminate such regulation. If the Secretary finds that a regulation obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall suspend or terminate such regulation. On the same basis and in like manner the Secretary may terminate any such modification or suspension.


§ 915.53 Exemption certificates.

Whenever a regulation is in effect pursuant to § 915.51(a)(1), the committee shall issue one or more exemption certificates to any person who furnishes proof, satisfactory to the committee, that his avocados of a particular variety are mature prior to the time such variety may be handled under such regulation. Such exemption certificates shall authorize the person to whom the certificates are issued to handle, or have handled, only that portion of his avocados of the particular variety which the committee has determined to be mature. The committee shall adopt, with the approval of the Secretary, procedural rules by which such exemption certificates will be issued and the avocados covered thereunder may be handled. Exemption certificates shall be transferred to the handler of the avocados covered by such certificates at the time the avocados are delivered to such handler.


§ 915.54 Inspection and certification.

Whenever the handling of any variety of avocados is regulated pursuant to § 915.51, each handler who handles avocados shall, prior thereto, cause each lot of avocados handled to be inspected by the Federal-State Inspection Service and certified by it as meeting the applicable requirements of such regulation: Provided, That such inspection and certification shall not be required whenever the avocados previously have been so inspected and certified. Promptly thereafter, each such handler shall submit, or cause to be submitted, to the committee a copy of the certificate of inspection with respect to such handling.


§ 915.55 Avocados not subject to regulations.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person may, without regard to the provisions of §§ 915.41, 915.51, and 915.54, and the regulations issued thereunder, handle avocados (a) for consumption by charitable institutions; (b) for distribution by relief agencies; (c) for commercial processing into products; or (d) in such minimum quantities or types of shipments as the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe. The committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, prescribe such rules, regulations, and safeguards as it may deem necessary to prevent avocados handled under the provisions of this section from entering channels of trade for other than the specific purposes authorized by this section. Such rules, regulations, and safeguards may include the requirements that handlers shall file applications with the committee for authorization to handle avocados pursuant to this section, and that such applications be accompanied by a certification by the intended purchaser or receiver that the avocados will not be used for any purpose not authorized by this section.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954, as amended at 20 FR 4177, June 15, 1955. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


§ 915.60 Reports.

(a) Each handler shall furnish to the committee, at such times and for such periods as the committee may designate, certified reports covering, to the extent necessary for the committee to perform its functions, the following:


(1) The quantities of each variety of avocados he received;


(2) A complete record of the quantities disposed of by him, segregated as to varieties and as to the respective quantities subject to regulation and not subject to regulation;


(3) The date of each such disposition and the identification of the carrier transporting such fruit;


(4) Identification of the inspection certificates and the exemption certificates, if any, pursuant to which the fruit was handled, together with the destination of each such exempted disposition, and of all fruit handled pursuant to § 915.55; and


(5) The quantity of each variety held by him at the end of the period.


(b) Upon request of the committee, made with the approval of the Secretary, each handler shall furnish to the committee, in such manner and at such times as it may prescribe, such other information as may be necessary to enable the committee to perform its duties under this part.


Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 915.61 Compliance.

Except as provided in this part, no person shall handle avocados, the shipment of which have been prohibited by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of this part; and no person shall handle avocados except in conformity with the provisions of this part and the regulations issued under this part.


§ 915.62 Right of the Secretary.

The members of the committee (including successors and alternates), and any agents, employees, or representatives thereof, shall be subject to removal or suspension by the Secretary at any time. Each and every regulation, decision, determination, or other act of the committee shall be subject to the continuing right of the Secretary to disapprove of the same at any time. Upon such disapproval, the disapproved action of the committee shall be deemed null and void, except as to acts done in reliance thereon or in accordance therewith prior to such disapproval by the Secretary.


§ 915.63 Effective time.

The provisions of this part shall become effective at such time as the Secretary may declare above his signature to this part, and shall continue in force until terminated in one of the ways specified in § 915.64.


§ 915.64 Termination.

(a) The Secretary may at any time terminate the provisions of this part by giving at least one day’s notice by means of a press release or in any other manner in which he may determine.


(b) The Secretary shall terminate or suspend the operation of any and all of the provisions of this part whenever he finds that such provisions do not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act.


(c) The Secretary shall terminate the provisions of this part whenever the Secretary finds by referendum or otherwise that such termination is favored by a majority of the producers: Provided, That such majority has, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, produced more than 50 percent of the volume of the avocados produced within the production area: And Provided further, That such termination shall be announced by March 15 of the then current fiscal year.


(d) The Secretary shall conduct a referendum as soon as practicable after the end of the fiscal year ending March 31, 1990, and at such time every sixth year thereafter, to ascertain whether continuance of this part is favored by avocado producers. The Secretary may terminate the provisions of this part at the end of any fiscal year in which the Secretary has found that continuance of this part is not favored by producers who, during a representative period determined by the Secretary, have been engaged in the production for market of avocados in the production area: Provided, That termination of this part shall be effective only if announced on or before March 15 of the then current fiscal year.


(e) The provisions of this part shall, in any event, terminate whenever the provisions of the Act authorizing them cease to be in effect.


[19 FR 3439, June 11, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 52 FR 7118, Mar. 9, 1987]


§ 915.65 Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of the provisions of this part, the committee shall, for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the committee, continue as trustees of all the funds and property then in its possession, or under its control, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered at the time of such termination.


(b) The said trustees shall (1) continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary; (2) from time to time account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of the committee and of the trustees, to such persons as the Secretary may direct; and (3) upon the request of the Secretary, execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in such person, full title and right to all of the funds, property, and claims vested in the committee or the trustees pursuant thereto.


(c) Any person to whom funds, property, or claims have been transferred or delivered, pursuant to this section, shall be subject to the same obligation imposed upon the committee and upon the trustees.


§ 915.66 Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the termination of this part or of any regulation issued pursuant to this part, or the issuance of any amendment to either thereof, shall not (a) affect or waive any right, duty, obligation, or liability which shall have arisen or which may thereafter arise in connection with any provision of this part or any regulation issued under this part, or (b) release or extinguish any violation of this part or of any regulation issued under this part, or (c) affect or impair any rights or remedies of the Secretary or of any other person with respect to any such violation.


§ 915.67 Duration of immunities.

The benefits, privileges, and immunities conferred upon any person by virtue of this part shall cease upon its termination, except with respect to acts done under and during the existence of this part.


§ 915.68 Agents.

The Secretary may, by designation in writing, name any officer or employee of the United States, or name any agency or division in the United States Department of Agriculture, to act as his agent or representative in connection with any of the provisions of this part.


§ 915.69 Derogation.

Nothing contained in this part is, or shall be construed to be, in derogation or in modification of the rights of the Secretary or of the United States (a) to exercise any powers granted by the act or otherwise, or (b) in accordance with such powers, to act in the premises whenever such action is deemed advisable.


§ 915.70 Personal liability.

No member or alternate member of the committee and no employee or agent of the committee shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly with others, in any way whatsoever, to any person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as such member, alternate, employee, or agent, except for acts of dishonesty, willful misconduct, or gross negligence.


§ 915.71 Separability.

If any provision of this part is declared invalid or the applicability thereof to any person, circumstance, or thing is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this part or the applicability thereof to any other person, circumstance, or thing shall not be affected thereby.


Subpart B – Administrative Requirements

§ 915.110 Exemption certificates.

Exemption certificates under § 915.53 shall be issued by the Avocado Administrative Committee pursuant to the following rules and regulations:


(a) The grower must make application for exemption on a form supplied by the committee. A separate application must be made for each variety or classification of avocados and shall contain the following:


(1) Name and address of the applicant, and date of application;


(2) District in which the applicant’s grove is located;


(3) Regulation from which exemption is requested;


(4) Variety for which exemption is requested;


(5) Location (by county, highway, rural route, distance from nearest town, etc.) of grove from which avocados are to be shipped pursuant to the requested exemption certificate;


(6) Information as to the average size of such avocados and the reasons why applicant believes he is entitled to an exemption certificate; and


(7) Name of the person who will handle any exempted fruit if different than the applicant.


(b) Upon receipt of an application for exemption certificate, the Avocado Administrative Committee shall check all information furnished by the applicant and shall conduct such investigations concerning the maturity of the applicant’s avocados as may be necessary to determine whether the application shall be approved or denied.


(c) Approval of the application shall be evidenced by the issuance to the applicant, by the Manager of the Avocado Administrative Committee on its behalf, of one or more exemption certificates which shall authorize the handling of the quantity of the applicant’s avocados which the committee has determined is mature.


(d) If the application is denied, the applicant shall be informed of such denial by written notice stating the reasons therefor.


[19 FR 5439, Aug. 26, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


§ 915.115 Nomination procedure.

(a) Any grower who resides outside the production area and desires to be represented in a nomination meeting by a duly authorized agent and to have such grower’s vote cast by such agent in the nomination and election of nominees for grower members and alternate members to fill positions on the Avocado Administrative Committee, as provided in § 915.22(b)(2), shall submit to the committee, not later than January 20, a written statement containing the following:


(1) Name of grower;


(2) Mailing address;


(3) Location of each avocado grove (either legal or from established landmarks);


(4) Number of avocado trees owned;


(5) Number of 55-pound units of avocados marketed to date during the current season;


(6) Name of the handler of the fruit marketed;


(7) Authorization, including the name and address, of the person who is to represent said grower at the nomination meeting.


(b) Any grower who has not filed the statement as prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section must be present at the nomination meeting to be eligible to have his vote counted in connection with the nomination and election of nominees.


(c) Any grower who, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (a) of this section, has authorized an agent to cast such grower’s vote, may rescind such authorization by appearing at the nomination meeting and exercising his right to vote in person.


[21 FR 78, Jan. 5, 1956. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 48 FR 2519, Jan. 20, 1983]


§ 915.120 Handler registration.

(a) Each handler who desires to handle avocados pursuant to the exceptions in § 915.10 shall, prior thereto, register with the committee. Such registration shall be by application for registration filed with the Avocado Administrative Committee on a form, prescribed and furnished by the committee, which shall contain the following information:


(1) Name and address of applicant;


(2) Applicant’s principal place(s) of business;


(3) Type of business organization (individual, corporation, partnership, etc.);


(4) If other than an individual, the names and addresses of officers, partners, etc.;


(5) Nature of business (handler, trucker, wholesaler, etc.);


(6) Number of years engaged in avocado business;


(7) Estimated seasonal volume of avocados handled;


(8) Place within production area where the avocados will be prepared for market, and name and address of person responsible for such preparation;


(9) Name and address of three references, one of which shall be a bank;


(10) Certification of accuracy of information furnished; and


(11) An agreement to comply with the provisions of this part.


(b) When the committee receives an application for registration, it shall issue the applicant a certificate of registration, if it determines based upon an investigation that the applicant may be expected to handle avacados in accordance with this part.


(c) If it is determined from the available information that the applicant is not entitled to be registered with the committee, he shall be so informed by written notice stating why the certificate of registration was not issued.


(d) Any certificate of registration issued to a handler pursuant to this section may be canceled by the committee under circumstances which would have justified denial of his application.


(e) The committee shall suspend the certificate of registration issued under this section of any handler who fails to pay assessments or furnish reports as required under this part, and so advise the handler in writing of the suspension and the effective date. The committee shall lift such suspension at such time as the handler pays such assessments and files such reports, and the committee determines that the handler may be expected to handle avacados in the future in accordance with this part.


[19 FR 5439, Aug. 26, 1954. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 49 FR 33203, Aug. 22, 1984]


§ 915.140 Avocados not subject to regulation.

(a) Minimum quantity. During any one day any handler may handle not to exceed 55 pounds total of avocados exempt from the provisions of §§ 915.41, 915.51, and 915.54, and the regulations issued thereunder: Provided, That such exempted quantity shall not be included as part of a shipment exceeding 55 pounds.


(b) Gift shipments. Any handler may, exempt from the provisions of §§ 915.41, 915.51, and 915.54, and the regulations issued thereunder, handle avocados in individually addressed gift containers not exceeding 20 pounds net weight for use by the addressee other than for resale.


(c) Commercial processing into products. The term commercial processing into products, as used in § 915.55(c), means the manufacture of any avocado product which is preserved by any recognized commercial process, including canning, freezing, dehydrating, drying, the addition of chemical substances, or by fermentation.


(d) Avocados for seed. Any handler may ship avocados to be used for seed purposes exempt from the provisions of §§ 915.41, 915.51, and 915.54, and the regulations issued thereunder: Provided, That such handler shall make application to the committee for an exemption prior to the loading of each shipment and that the receiver of each such shipment shall certify, on a form provided by the committee, that such fruit was used for the intended purpose, and that the residue from the seed separation process will not be allowed to enter fresh channels of trade.


[23 FR 9126, Nov. 26, 1958. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 30 FR 10880, Aug. 21, 1965; 36 FR 1191, Jan. 26, 1971; 43 FR 23557, May 31, 1978]


§ 915.141 Handling avocados for commercial processing into products.

(a) No person shall handle any avocados for commercial processing into products unless prior to such handling such person notifies the Avocado Administrative Committee of the proposed handling and provides the committee with the name of the intended processor. If the intended processor’s name is not on the Avocado Administrative Committee’s current list of approved manufacturers of avocado products, as prescribed in paragraph (b) of this section, or if on the list is suspended, such person shall furnish the committee, prior to each such handling, with a statement executed by the intended processor that the avocados will be used for the stated purpose only.


(b) Any person who desires to have his name placed on the Avocado Administrative Committee’s list of approved manufacturers of avocado products shall, prior to such listing, submit to the Avocado Administrative Committee an application containing the following information:


(1) Name and address of applicant;


(2) Location of the facilities for commercial processing into products;


(3) Proposed type of avocado product or products to be manufactured from avocados and the proposed commercial process of preservation;


(4) Description of facilities for commercial processing into products;


(5) Quantity of avocados used in commercial processing into products during the previous fiscal year and estimate of the quantity of avocados to be similarly processed during the current fiscal year; (6) expected source of avocados for commercial processing into products; (7) method of transporting avocados and unloading point; (8) Avocado Administrative Committee handler certificate of registration number, if any; (9) a statement that the avocados obtained for commercial processing into products will be used for that purpose only and will not be resold or disposed of in fresh fruit channels; and (10) an agreement to submit such reports as are required by the Avocado Administrative Committee with approval of the Secretary.


(c) Upon receipt of an application for such listing, the Avocado Administrative Committee shall make such investigation as it deems appropriate, and if it appears that the applicant may reasonably be expected to use avocados covered by the application in accordance with, and to comply with, the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, it shall place the person’s name on Avocado Administrative Committee’s current list of approved manufacturers of avocado products.


(d) If it is determined by the committee from the available information that the applicant is not entitled to such listing he shall be so informed by written notice stating why his application was denied.


(e) Any such listing pursuant to paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section may be canceled by the committee under circumstances which would have justified denial of this application.


(f) The committee shall suspend the listing of any approved manufacturer who fails to submit reports as prescribed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section. The committee shall advise such manufacturer in writing of the pending suspension and shall specify the time such suspension is to become effective. Upon determination by the committee that the manufacturer has satisfied by such effective time the requirements with respect to the submission of reports the committee shall not make such suspension effective. However, if the suspension is in effect, the committee shall terminate such suspension at such time as it determines that the manufacturer has satisfied the requirements with respect to the submission of reports.


[36 FR 1191, Jan. 26, 1971]


§ 915.142 Reserve fund.

(a) The establishment of a reserve fund at an amount not to exceed approximately 3 fiscal years’ operational expenses is appropriate and necessary to the maintenance and functioning of the Avocado Administrative Committee. Such reserve, including funds carried forward from prior fiscal years, shall be used to provide for the maintenance and functioning of the committee in accordance with the provisions of the marketing agreement, as amended, and this part.


(b) Terms used in this section shall have the same meaning as when used in said marketing agreement and order.


[43 FR 39323, Sept. 5, 1978. Redesignated at 45 FR 47653, July 16, 1980]


§ 915.150 Reports.

(a) Each handler shall file with the Avocado Administrative Committee, on a weekly basis, a report of all avocados received by him. Such report shall be on forms prescribed by the committee and shall include: (1) The name and address of the handler; (2) weekly period covered by the report; (3) district in which the avocados were received; and (4) the quantity of each variety of avocados received. Each such report shall be filed with the committee not later than one week after the close of business of the last day of the period covered by the report.


(b) Each handler registered with the Avocado Administrative Committee shall render a report to the committee of the disposition of each lot of noncertified avocados removed from the premises of his handling facilities during each week in which any avocados are handled subject to the provisions of §§ 915.41, 915.51, and 915.54, or exemptions therefrom pursuant to § 915.53. Such report shall be on forms prescribed by the committee and shall include: (1) The quantity; (2) purpose for which removed; (3) date of removal; and (4) the name of the person or firm to which the avocados were delivered or consigned. Each such report shall be signed by the handler or his authorized representative, shall cover the period Sunday through Saturday, and shall be placed in the mail not later than one week after the close of business of the Saturday ending the period covered by the report.


(c) Each handler shall render a report to the Avocado Administrative Committee of each lot of noncertified avocados received from a district other than that in which his handling facilities are located. Such report shall be on forms prescribed by the committee and shall include: (1) The name of the handler; (2) the quantity of avocados received; (3) date received; (4) name and address of the person from whom the avocados were purchased; (5) the district from which the avocados were transferred; and (6) the district to which the avocados were transferred. Each such report shall cover the period Sunday through Saturday and shall be placed in the mail not later than one week after the close of business of the Saturday ending the period covered by the report.


(d) Each handler shall, at the end of the day’s operation, report to the committee the number of containers of avocados sold and delivered in the State of Florida in the following containers: (1)
1/4 Bushel, (2)
1/2 Bushel, and (3)
4/5 Bushel. Upon request by the committee, such reports shall be confirmed in writing on a weekly basis on a form prescribed by the committee.


(e) At the time of inspection, each handler shall provide to the Federal-State Inspection Service the quantity and size of containers being packed and inspected for the fresh avocado market. In addition, each handler shall provide the number of avocados packed per container (count per container).


[21 FR 6695, Sept. 6, 1956, as amended at 21 FR 7368, Sept. 27, 1956. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 53 FR 1743, Jan. 22, 1988; 70 FR 36470, June 24, 2005]


Effective Date Notes:1. At 61 FR 17552, Apr. 22, 1996, in § 915.150, paragraph (d) was suspended indefinitely.

2. At 71 FR 76899, Dec. 22, 2006, in § 915.150, paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) were suspended indefinitely, effective Dec. 26, 2006.


§ 915.155 Delinquent assessments.

Each handler shall pay interest of one percent per month on any unpaid assessment balance beginning 30 days after date of billing. Such interest charge is to apply to any unpaid assessments which become due the Avocado Administrative Committee after the effective date of this section.


[40 FR 50024, Oct. 28, 1975]


§ 915.160 Public member eligibility requirements and nomination procedures.

(a) Public member and alternate member candidates shall not represent an agricultural interest, and shall not have a financial interest in, or be associated with the production, processing, financing, or marketing of avocados.


(b) Public member and alternate member candidates should be able to devote sufficient time to attend committee activities regularly and to familiarize themselves with the background and economics of the avocado industry.


(c) The public member and alternate member shall be a resident of the production area.


(d) The public member and alternate member should be nominated by the Avocado Administrative Committee, and shall serve a one-year term which coincides with the term of the producer and handler members of the committee.


[44 FR 9370, Feb. 13, 1979]


Subpart C – Assessment Rates

§ 915.235 Assessment rate.

On and after April 1, 2022, an assessment rate of $0.50 per 55-pound container or equivalent is established for avocados grown in South Florida.


[87 FR 52433, Aug. 26, 2022]


Subpart D – Container and Pack Requirements

§ 915.305 Florida Avocado Container Regulation 5.

(a) No handler shall handle any avocados for the fresh market from the production area to any point outside thereof in containers having a capacity of more than 4 pounds of avocados unless the containers meet the requirements specified in this section: Provided, That the containers authorized in this section shall not be used for handling avocados for commercial processing into products pursuant to § 915.55(c). All avocados shall be packed in containers of 33, 31, 24, 12, and 8.5 pounds designated net weights and shall conform to all other applicable requirements of this section:


(1) Containers shall not contain less than 33 pounds net weight of avocados, except that for avocados of unnamed varieties, which are avocados that have not been given varietal names, and for Booth 1, Fuchs, and Trapp varieties, such weight shall be not less than 31 pounds. Not more than 10 percent, by count, of the individual containers in any lot may fail to meet the applicable specified weight. No container in any lot may contain a net weight of avocados exceeding 2 pounds less than the specified net weight; or


(2) Containers shall not contain less than 24 pounds net weight of avocados: Provided, That not to exceed 5 percent, by count, of such containers in any lot may fail to meet such weight requirement. All avocados packed at this designated net weight shall be placed in two layers and the net weight of all avocados in any such container shall not be less than 24 pounds: Provided, That the requirement as to placing avocados in two layers only shall not apply to such container if each of the avocados therein weighs 14 ounces or less; or


(3) Containers shall not contain less than 12 pounds net weight of avocados: Provided, That not to exceed 5 percent, by count, of such containers in any lot may fail to meet such weight requirement. All avocados packed at this designated net weight shall be placed in one layer only and the net weight of all avocados in any such container shall not be less than 12 pounds; or


(4) Containers shall not contain less than 8.5 pounds net weight of avocados: Provided, That not to exceed 5 percent, by count, of such containers in any lot may fail to meet such weight requirement. All avocados packed at this designated net weight shall be placed in one layer only and the net weight of all avocados in any such container shall not be less than 8.5 pounds. Such containers shall be for export shipments only.


(5) Such other types and sizes of containers as may be approved by the Avocado Administrative Committee, with the approval of the Secretary, for testing in connection with a research project conducted by or in cooperation with said committee: Provided, That the handling of each lot of avocados in such test containers shall be subject to prior approval, and under the supervision of, the Avocado Administrative Committee.


(b) The limitations set forth in paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply to master containers for individual packages of avocados: Provided, That the markings or labels, if any, on the individual packages within such master containers do not conflict with the markings or labels on the master container.


(c) No handler shall handle any avocados for the fresh market in 20 bushel plastic field bins to destinations inside the production area.


(d) Avocados handled for the fresh market in containers other than those authorized under § 915.305(a) and shipped to destinations within the production area must be packed in 1-bushel containers.


(e) All containers in which the avocados are packed must be new, and clean in appearance, without marks, stains, or other evidence of previous use.


[63 FR 37480, July 13, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 69383, Dec. 13, 1999; 65 FR 15205, Mar. 22, 2000; 70 FR 36470, June 24, 2005; 73 FR 66719, Nov. 12, 2008]


§ 915.306 Florida avocado grade, pack, and container marking regulation.

(a) No handler shall handle any variety of avocados grown in the production area unless:


(1) Such avocados grade at least U.S. Combination, except that avocados handled to destinations within the production area grade at least U.S. No. 2.


(2) Such avocados are in containers authorized under § 915.305, when handled to points outside the production area.


(3) Such avocados are packed in accordance with standard pack, when handled in containers authorized under § 915.305.


(4) Such avocados are in containers marked with a Federal-State Inspection Service lot stamp number, when handled in containers authorized under § 915.305: Provided, That when inspection occurs after palletization, only all exposed or outside containers of avocados must be plainly marked with the lot stamp number corresponding to the lot inspection conducted by an authorized inspector.


(5) Such avocados are in containers marked with a Federal-State Inspection Service (FSIS) lot stamp number applied to an adhesive tape seal affixed to the container in a manner to prevent the container from being opened and/or the fruit being removed without breaking the seal, when handled in containers other than those authorized under § 915.305. The stamp and tape shall be affixed to the container by the FSIS or by the handler under the supervision of the FSIS. Only stamps and tape which have been approved by the Fresh Products Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Division, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, may be used for purposes of stamping and sealing containers to meet these requirements.


(6) Such avocados when handled in containers authorized under § 915.305, except for those to export destinations, are marked once with the grade of fruit in letters and numbers at least 1 inch in height on the top or one side of the container, not to include the bottom.


(7) Such avocados when handled in containers other than those authorized under § 915.305(a) for shipment to destinations within the production area are marked once with the grade of fruit in letters and numbers at least 3 inches in height on the top or one side of the container, not to include the bottom. Each such container is also to be marked at least once with either the registered handler number assigned to the handler at the time of certification as a registered handler or with the name and address of the handler.


(b) The provisions of paragraphs (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), and (a)(6) of this section shall not apply to individual packages of avocados weighing four pounds or less, net weight, in master containers.


(c) Terms pertaining to grades and standard pack mean the same as those defined in the United States Standards for Florida Avocados (7 CFR 51.3050 through 51.3069).


[50 FR 32553, Aug. 13, 1985, as amended at 56 FR 36080, July 31, 1991; 57 FR 3716, Jan. 31, 1992; 57 FR 48931, Oct. 29, 1992; 60 FR 42770, Aug. 17, 1995; 61 FR 31006, June 19, 1996; 63 FR 37480, July 13, 1998; 73 FR 66719, Nov. 12, 2008; 78 FR 51043, Aug. 20, 2013; 79 FR 67039, Nov. 12, 2014]


§ 915.332 Florida avocado maturity regulation.

(a) No handler shall handle any variety of avocados, except Hass, Fuerte, Zutano, and Edranol, grown in the production area unless:


(1) Any portion of the skin of the individual avocados has changed to the color normal for that fruit when mature for those varieties which normally change color to any shade of red or purple when mature, except for the Linda variety; or


(2) Such avocados meet the minimum weight or diameter requirements for the Monday nearest each date specified, through the Sunday immediately prior to the nearest Monday of the specified date in the next column, for each variety listed in the following table I: Provided, that avocados may not be handled prior to the earliest date specified in column A of such table for the respective variety; Provided further, There are no restrictions on size or weight on or after the date specified in column D; Provided further, That up to a total of 10 percent, by count to the individual fruit in each lot may weigh less than the minimum specified or be less than the specified diameter, except that no such avocados shall be over 2 ounces lighter than the minimum weight specified for the variety: Provided further, That up to double such tolerance shall be permitted for fruit in an individual container in a lot.


Table I

Variety
A date
Min. wt.
Min. diam.
B date
Min. wt.
Min. diam.
C date
Min. wt.
Min. diam.
D date
Dr. Dupuis #25-30163
7/16
6-13143
5/16
7-04123
2/16
7-18
Simmons6-20163
9/16
7-04143
7/16
7-18123
1/16
8-01
Pollock6-20183
11/16
7-04163
7/16
7-18143
4/16
8-01
Hardee6-27163
2/16
7-04142
14/16
7-11127-25
Nadir6-27143
3/16
7-04123
1/16
7-11102
14/16
7-18
Ruehle7-04183
11/16
7-11

7-18
16

14
3
9/16

3
7/16
8-01

8-08
12

10
3
5/16

3
3/16
8-15
Bernecker7-18183
6/16
8-01163
5/16
8-15143
4/16
8-29
Miguel (P)7-18223
13/16
8-01203
12/16
8-15183
10/16
8-29
Nesbitt7-18223
12/16
8-01163
5/16
8-08143
3/16
8-22
Tonnage8-01163
6/16
8-15143
4/16
8-22123
0/16
8-29
Waldin8-01163
9/16
8-15143
7/16
8-29123
4/16
9-12
Tower II8-01143
6/16
8-15123
4/16
8-29103
2/16
9-05
Beta8-08183
8/16
8-15163
5/16
8-29143
3/16
9-05
Lisa (P)8-08123
2/16
8-151138-22
Black Prince8-15284
1/16
8-29233
14/16
9-12163
9/16
10-03
Loretta8-22304
3/16
9-05263
15/16
9-19223
12/16
9-26
Booth 88-29163
9/16
9-12143
6/16
9-26

10-10
12

10
3
3/16

3
1/16
10-24
Booth 78-29183
13/16
9-12163
10/16
9-26143
8/16
10-10
Booth 59-05143
9/16
9-19123
6/16
10-03
Choquette9-26284
4/16
10-10244
1/16
10-24203
14/16
11-7
Hall9-26263
14/16
10-10203
9/16
10-24183
8/16
11-07
Lula10-03183
11/16
10-10143
6/16
10-31123
3/16
11-14
Monroe11-07264
3/16
11-21244
1/16
12-05

12-19
20

16
3
14/16

3
9/16
1-02
Arue5-16165-30143
3/16
6-20127-04
Donnie5-23163
5/16
6-06143
4/16
6-20127-04
Fuchs6-06143
3/16
6-20123
0/16
7-04
K-56-13183
5/16
6-27143
3/16
7-11
West Indian Seedling
1
6-20187-18168-22149-19
Gorham7-04294
5/16
7-18274
3/16
8-15
Biondo7-11138-15
Petersen7-11143
8/16
7-18123
5/16
7-25103
2/16
8-08
2327-18148-01128-15
Pinelli7-18183
12/16
8-01163
10/16
8-15
Trapp7-18143
10/16
8-01123
7/16
8-15
K-98-01168-22
Christina8-01112
14/16
8-22
Catalina8-15248-29229-19
Blair8-29163
8/16
9-12143
5/16
10-03
Guatemalan Seedling
2
9-051510-031312-05
Marcus9-05324
12/16
9/19244
5/16
10-31
Brooks 19789-05123
4/16
9-12103
1/16
9-1982
14/16
10-10
Rue9-12304
3/16
9-19243
15/16
10-03183
9/16
10-17
Collinson9-12163
10/16
10-10
Hickson9-12123
1/16
9-26103
0/16
10-10
Simpson9-19163
9/16
10-10
Chica9-19123
7/16
10-03103
4/16
10-17
Leona9-26183
10/16
10-031610-10
Melendez9-26263
14/16
10-10223
11/16
10-24183
7/16
11-07
Herman10-03163
9/16
10-17143
6/16
10-31
Pinkerton (CP)10-03133
3/16
10-17113
0/16
10-31911-14
Taylor10-10143
5/16
10-24123
2/16
11-07
Ajax (B-7)10-10183
14/16
10-31
Booth 310-10163
8/16
10-17143
6/16
10-31
Semil 3410-17183
10/16
10-31163
8/16
11-14143
5/16
11-28
Semil 4310-24183
10/16
11-7163
8/16
11-21143
5/16
12-05
Booth 111-14163
12/16
11-28123
6/16
12-12
Zio (P)11-14123
1/16
11-28102
14/16
12-12
Gossman11-28113
1/16
12-26
Brookslate12-05183
13/16
12-12163
10/16
1-02123
5/16
1-30
12-19143
8/16
1-1610
Meya (P)12-12133
2/16
12-26113
0/16
1-09
Reed (CP)12-12123
4/16
12-26103
3/16
1-0993
0/16
1-23


1 Avocados of the West Indian type varieties and seedlings not listed elsewhere in table I.


2 Avocados of the Guatemalan type varieties and seedlings, hybrid varieties and seedlings, and unidentified seedlings not listed elsewhere in table I.


(3) Avocados which fail to meet the maturity requirements specified in this section must be maintained under the supervision of the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service using the Positive Lot Identification program, and when presented for reinspection, must meet the maturity requirements which correspond to the date of the original inspection.


(4) The requirements listed in table I of this section are in effect annually from April 16 through April 15 of the following year, with an exception for the requirements for Guatemalan seedling which are in effect annually from June 9 to June 8 of the following year.


(b) The term diameter means the greatest dimension measured at a right angle to a straight line from the stem to the blossom end of the fruit.


[59 FR 30869, June 16, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 53185, Oct. 1, 1999; 71 FR 11294, Mar. 7, 2006; 73 FR 26945, May 12, 2008; 79 FR 55353, Sept. 16, 2014; 87 FR 8143, Feb. 14, 2022]


PART 917 – FRESH PEARS AND PEACHES GROWN IN CALIFORNIA


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674.

Subpart A – Order Regulating Handling


Source:41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, unless otherwise noted.

Definitions

§ 917.1 Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department to whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated, to act in his stead.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.1 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.2 Act.

Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (May 12, 1933), as amended, and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601-674).



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.2 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.3 Person.

Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or any other business unit.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.3 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.4 Fruit.

Fruit means the edible product of the following kinds of trees:


(a) All varieties of pears except Beurre Hardy, Beurre D’Anjou, Bosc, Winter Nelis, Doyenne du Comice, Beurre Easter, and Beurre Clairgeau.


(b) [Reserved]


[71 FR 41351, July 21, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.4 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.5 Grower.

Grower is synonymous with producer and means any person who produces fruit for market in fresh form, and who has a proprietary interest therein.


[71 FR 41351, July 21, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.5 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.6 Handle.

Handle and ship are synonymous and mean to sell, consign, deliver or transport fruit or to cause fruit to be sold, consigned, delivered or transported between the production area and any point outside thereof, or within the production area: Provided, That the term handle shall not include the sale of fruit on the tree, the transportation within the production area of fruit from the orchard where grown to a packing facility located within such area for preparation for market, or the delivery of such fruit to such packing facility for such preparation.


[71 FR 41351, July 21, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.6 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.7 Handler.

Handler is synonymous with shipper and means any person (except a common or contract carrier transporting fruit owned by another person) who handles fruit.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.7 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.9 Fiscal period.

Fiscal period is synonymous with fiscal year and means the 12-month period ending on the last day of February of each year, or such other period that may be approved by the Secretary pursuant to recommendations by the committee.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.9 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.11 Production area.

Production area means the State of California.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.11 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.12 Container.

Container means a box, bag, crate, lug, basket, carton, package, or any other type of receptacle used in the packaging or handling of fruit.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.12 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.13 Pack.

Pack means the specific arrangement, size, weight, count, or grade of a quantity of fruit in a particular type and size of container or any combination thereof.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.13 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.14 District.

District means any of the following subdivisions of the State of California:


(a) North Sacramento Valley District includes and consists of Glenn County, Shasta County, Tehama County, Modoc County, Siskiyou County, Lassen County, Plumas County, and Colusa County.


(b) Central Sacramento Valley District includes and consists of Sutter County, Butte County, Yuba County, and Sierra County.


(c) Sacramento River District includes and consists of Sacramento County, that portion of Yolo County east of a straight line from the northwest corner of Sacramento County to the Northeast corner of Solano County, and that portion of Solano County east of a straight line from the northeast corner of Solano County to the town of Rio Vista.


(d) El Dorado District includes and consists of El Dorado County.


(e) Placer-Colfax District includes and consists of Nevada and Placer Counties.


(f) Solano District includes and consists of that portion of Yolo County not included in the Sacramento River District, and that portion of Solano County not included in the Sacramento River District.


(g) Contra Costa District includes and consists of Contra Costa County.


(h) Santa Clara District includes and consists of Alameda County, Monterey County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Santa Cruz County, and San Benito County.


(i) Lake District includes and consists of Lake County.


(j) Mendocino District includes and consists of Mendocino County, Humboldt County, Trinity County, and Del Norte County.


(k) South Coast District includes and consists of San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, and Ventura County.


(l) Stockton District includes and consists of San Joaquin County, Amador County, Calaveras County, and Alpine County.


(m) Stanislaus District includes and consists of Merced County, Stanislaus County, Tuolumne County, and Mariposa County.


(n) Fresno District includes and consists of Madera County, Fresno County, and Mono County.


(o) Tulare District includes and consists of Tulare County and Kings County.


(p) Kern District includes and consists of that portion of Kern County west of the Tehachapi Mountains.


(q) Tehachapi District includes and consists of that portion of Kern County not included in Kern District, and Inyo County.


(r) Southern California District includes and consists of San Bernardino County, Orange County, San Diego County, Imperial County, Riverside County, and Los Angeles County.


(s) North Bay District includes and consists of Sonoma County, Napa County, and Marin County.


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 71 FR 41351, July 21, 2006]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.14 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.15 Representation area.

Representation area means any one of the districts or groups of districts which are designated for nominating members and alternate members to the commodity committees under § 917.21 or as changed pursuant to § 917.35(g).


[56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991, as amended at 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.15 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Administrative Bodies

§ 917.16 Designation of Control Committee.

A Control Committee is hereby established consisting of 12 shipper members and 13 commodity committee members, and the members shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of § 917.17 through § 917.19. The members shall be selected annually for a term ending on the last day of February, and said members shall serve until their respective successors are selected and have qualified.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.16 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.17 Nomination of shipper members of the Control Committee.

Nominations for the 12 members of the Control Committee to represent shippers shall be made in the following manner:


(a) By February 1 of each year the Control Committee shall announce a time and place for a meeting of all shippers of fruit and shall conduct the election of nominees at such meeting. At said election meeting the shippers present shall select a nominee for each of the shipper member positions on the Control Committee. Each shipper shall cast only one vote.


(b) No shipper shall be entitled to participate in the nomination of members of the Control Committee, or be eligible for membership on such committee, if such shipper has failed to pay the assessments, due to be paid by him pursuant to the provisions of § 917.37.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.17 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.18 Nomination of commodity committee members of the Control Committee.

Nominations for the 13 members of the Control Committee to represent the commodity committees shall be made in the following manner:


(a) A nomination for one member shall be made by each commodity committee selected pursuant to § 917.25. Nominations for the remaining members shall be made by the respective commodity committees as provided in this section. The number of remaining members which each respective commodity committee shall be entitled to nominate shall be based upon the proportion that the previous three fiscal periods’ shipments of the respective fruit is of the total shipments of all fruit to which this part is applicable during such periods. In the event provisions of this part are terminated or suspended as to any fruit, nominations of members to the Control Committee shall be composed of representatives of any remaining fruit.The apportionment shall be determined as aforesaid.In the event provisions of this part are terminated or suspended as to any fruit, the members of the commodity committee of the remaining fruit shall have all the powers, duties, and functions given to the Control Committee under this part and sections of this part pertaining to the designation of the Control Committee shall be terminated or suspended.


(b) A person nominated by any commodity committee for membership on the Control Committee shall be an individual person who is a member or alternate member of the commodity committee that nominates him/her. Each member of each commodity committee shall have only one vote in the selection of nominees for membership on the Control Committee.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.18 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.19 Selection of members of the Control Committee.

From the nominations made pursuant to § 917.17, or from other persons, the Secretary shall select the shipper members of the Control Committee. From the nominations made pursuant to § 917.18, or from other persons, the Secretary shall select the commodity committee members of the Control Committee. Any person selected as member of the Control Committee shall qualify by filing with the Secretary a written acceptance of the appointment.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.19 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.20 Designation of members of commodity committees.

There is hereby established a Pear Commodity Committee consisting of 13 members. Each commodity committee may be increased by one public member nominated by the respective commodity committee and selected by the Secretary. The members of each said committee shall be selected biennially for a term ending on the last day of February of odd numbered years, and such members shall serve until their respective successors are selected and have qualified. The members of each commodity committee shall be selected in accordance with the provisions of § 917.25.


[76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.20 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.21 Nomination of Pear Commodity Committee members.

Nominations for membership on the Pear Commodity Committee shall be made by the growers of pears in the respective representation areas as follows:


(a) North Sacramento Valley District and the Central Sacramento Valley District one nominee.


(b) Sacramento River District, Stockton District, Stanislaus District, Contra Costa District, Santa Clara District, and Solano District four nominees.


(c) Placer-Colfax District one nominee.


(d) Lake District four nominees.


(e) Mendocino District and the North Bay District one nominee.


(f) El Dorado District one nominee.


(g) All of the production area not included in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section one nominee.



Effective Date Note:At 59 FR 10055, Mar. 3, 1994, § 917.21 was suspended, effective Apr. 4, 1994.

§ 917.24 Procedure for nominating members of various commodity committees.

(a) The Control Committee shall hold or cause to be held not later than February 15 for pears of each odd numbered year a meeting or meetings of the growers of the fruits in each representation area set forth in § 917.21. These meetings shall be supervised by the Control Committee, which shall prescribe such procedures as shall be reasonable and fair to all persons concerned.


(b) With respect to each commodity committee, only growers of the particular fruit who are present at such nomination meetings or represented at such meetings by duly authorized employees may participate in the nomination and election of nominees for commodity committee members and alternates. Each such grower, including employees of such grower, shall be entitled to cast but one vote for each position to be filled for the representation area in which he produces such fruit.


(c) A particular grower, including employees of such growers, shall be eligible for membership as principle or alternate to fill only one position on a commodity committee. A grower nominated for membership on the Pear Commodity Committee must have produced at least 51 percent of the pears shipped by him during the previous fiscal period, or he must represent an organization which produced at least 51 percent of the pears shipped by it during such period.


[76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.24 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.25 Selection of members of various commodity committees.

(a) The Secretary shall select the members of each commodity committee from nominations made by growers, as provided in §§ 917.21 through 917.24, or from among other eligible persons. Any person selected as a member of a commodity committee shall qualify by filing with the Secretary a written acceptance of the appointment.


(b) [Reserved]


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.25 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.26 Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and in the manner prescribed in §§ 917.21 through 917.24, the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select the member and alternate members of commodity committees on the basis of representation provided in § 917.21. In the event nominations are not made for membership on the Control Committee, pursuant to the provisions of §§ 917.17 and 917.18, by May 1 of each year, the Secretary may select such members without waiting for nominees to be designated.


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.26 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.27 Alternates.

There shall be an alternate for each member of the Control Committee, and an alternate for each member of each commodity committee. Each such alternate shall possess the same qualifications, shall be nominated and selected in the same manner and shall hold office for the same term, as the member for whom he is alternate. An alternate shall, in the event of such member’s absence at a meeting of the committee, act in the place and stead of such member; and, in the event of such member’s removal, resignation, disqualification, or death, the alternate for such member shall, until a successor for the unexpired term of said member has been selected, act in the place and stead of said member. In the event both a member and his alternate are unable to attend a meeting the member or the committee members present may designate any other alternative to serve in such member’s place and stead provided such action is necessary to secure a quorum.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.27 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.28 Procedure for filling vacancies on committees.

To fill any vacancy on the Control Committee or on any of the commodity committees occasioned by the failure of any person selected as a member or as an alternate member to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any member or alternate member, a successor for the unexpired term of such member or alternate shall be nominated and selected in the manner specified in §§ 917.17 through 917.19 and §§ 917.21 through 917.25. If the names of nominees to fill any such vacancy are not made available to the Secretary within a reasonable time after such vacancy occurs, the Secretary may fill such vacancy without regard to nominations on the basis of representation provided for in §§ 917.16 and 917.21.


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.28 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.29 Organization of committees.

(a) A majority of all of the members of the Control Committee shall constitute a quorum, and any action of the Control Committee shall require the concurrence of the majority of all members present at the meeting.


(b) A quorum of the Pear Commodity Committee shall consist of nine members.


(c) The Control Committee and each commodity committee shall give to the Secretary the same notice of each meeting that is given to the members of the respective committee.


(d) The Control Committee or any commodity committee may, upon due notice to all of the members of the respective committee, vote by letter, telegraph or telephone: Provided, That any member voting by telephone shall promptly thereafter confirm in writing his/her vote so cast.


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 71 FR 41352, July 21, 2006; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.29 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.30 Removal and disapproval.

The members of the Control Committee, including their respective successors and alternates, and the members of each commodity committee, including their respective successors and alternates, and any agent or employee appointed or employed by the Control Committee and the members of any other committee established pursuant to the provisions of this subpart shall be subject to removal or suspension at any time by the Secretary. Each regulation, decision, determination, or other act of the Control Committee, or any commodity committee, or any other committee established pursuant to the provisions of this subpart, shall be subject to the continuing right of the Secretary to disapprove of the same at any time; and, upon such disapproval, each such regulation, decision, determination, or other act, shall be deemed null and void except as to acts done in reliance thereon or in compliance therewith prior to such disapproval by the Secretary.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.30 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.31 Compensation and expenses.

All committee members shall serve without compensation, but said members, and their respective alternates, shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of their duties. At its discretion any committee may request the attendance of one or more alternates at any or all meetings, notwithstanding the expected or actual presence of the respective members, and may pay expenses as aforesaid.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.31 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.32 Funds and other property.

(a) All funds received by the Control Committee, pursuant to the provisions of this part, shall be used solely for the purpose specified in this part; and the Secretary may require the Control Committee and its members to account for all receipts and disbursements.


(b) Upon the resignation, removal, or expiration of the term of any member or employee of the Control Committee, or of any member of any commodity committee, all books, records, funds, and other property in his possession belonging to the Control Committee or any commodity committee shall be delivered to the Control Committee or to his successor in office; and such assignments and other instruments shall be executed as may be necessary to vest in the Control Committee full title to all the books, records, funds, and other property in the possession or under the control of such member or employee, pursuant to the provisions of this part.


(c) The Control Committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, maintain in its own name, or in the name of its members, a suit against any shipper for the collection of such shipper’s pro rata share of expenses, pursuant to the provisions of this part.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.32 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.33 Powers of Control Committee.

The Control Committee shall have the following powers:


(a) To administer, as specifically provided in this part, the terms and provisions of this part.


(b) To make administrative rules and regulations in accordance with and to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part.


(c) To receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of the provisions of this part.


(d) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.33 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.34 Duties of Control Committee.

The Control Committee shall have the following duties:


(a) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any grower or shippers.


(b) To keep minute books and records which will clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of said Control Committee; and such minute books and records shall be subject at any time to examination by the Secretary or by such person as may be designated by the Secretary.


(c) To investigate, from time to time, and assemble data on the growing, shipping, and marketing conditions respecting fruit, as defined in § 917.4; to engage in such research and service activities in connection with the handling of such fruit as may be approved, from time to time, by the Secretary; and to furnish to the Secretary such available information as may be requested.


(d) To appoint such employees, agents, and representatives as it may deem necessary, and to determine the compensation and define the duties of each.


(e) To develop and provide the commodity committees data on shared expenses to facilitate equitable apportionment of such expenses in the development of budgets.


(f) To confer with representatives of shippers and growers of fruit produced in other states and areas with respect to the formulation or operation of marketing agreements providing for the regulation of shipments among the several states and areas in the United States in which such fruit is grown.


(g) With the approval of the Secretary establish procedures for the selection and appointment of a public member and alternate to each of the commodity committees.


(h) To establish and define the duties of additional committees or subcommittees to assist in the performance of any of the duties and functions of the Control Committee.


(i) To defend all legal proceedings against any committee members (individually or as members) or any officers or employees of such committees arising out of any act or omission made in good faith pursuant to the provisions of this part.


(j) To cause the books of the Control Committee to be audited by a competent accountant at least once each fiscal period and at such other time or times as the Control Committee may deem necessary or as the Secretary may request. Such audit shall indicate whether the funds have been received and expended in accordance with the provisions of this part.


(k) To appoint nomination committees if it deems proper for any or each nomination meeting held pursuant to § 917.21. Such nomination committees would canvas prospective members and alternate members to the commodity committees to determine their eligibility and willingness to serve and present a slate of nominees to the meeting or meetings. The presentation of nominees by the nominating committee at these meetings shall not exclude the right of any grower to nominate any eligible person at such meeting.


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.34 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.35 Powers and duties of each commodity committee.

Each commodity committee shall have the following powers and duties:


(a) With regard to the respective fruit for which it was established, to establish production research and marketing research and development projects as authorized under § 917.39, to recommend to the Secretary regulation of shipments pursuant to the provisions of this part, and to possess such other powers and exercise such other duties as will properly effectuate the purpose of this part: Provided, however, That the Pear Commodity Committee shall approve actions under § 917.39 and make said recommendations pursuant to §§ 917.40 through 917.43 only upon the affirmative vote of not less than nine members of said committee.


(b) To make such rules and regulations with respect to fruit for which it was established as may be necessary to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part.


(c) To forward to the Control Committee and to the Secretary a record of the minutes of each meeting of the commodity committee.


(d) To establish such other committees to aid the commodity committee in the performance of its duties under this part as may be deemed advisable.


(e) Each season prior to any recommendation to the Secretary for a regulation of shipments pursuant to §§ 917.40 through 917.43 to determine the marketing policy to be followed for the respective commodity during the ensuing fiscal period and to submit such policy to the Secretary, said policy report to contain, among other provisions, information relative to the estimated total production and shipments of the fruit by districts, information as to the expected general quality and size of fruit, possible or expected demand conditions of different market outlets, supplies of competitive commodities, such analysis of the foregoing factors and conditions as the committee deems appropriate, and the type of regulations of shipments expected to be recommended for the respective fruit.


(f) To submit as soon as practicable after the beginning of each fiscal year to the Secretary, for his approval, a budget of its expenses for such fiscal period, including its proportional share of the expenses of the Control Committee and an explanation of the items therein, and a recommendation as to the rate of assessment for the respective fruit for which the commodity committee was established.


(g) With the approval of the Secretary, to redefine the Districts into which the State of California has been divided under § 917.14 or change the representation of any representation area affecting the respective commodity committee: Provided, however, That if any such changes are made, representation on any such committee from the various representation areas shall be based, so far as practicable, upon the proportionate quantity of the respective fruit shipped from the respective representation area during the preceding three fiscal periods: Provided further, That the commodity committees shall follow the principle, so far as practicable, of assigning a member position on the commodity committees to any representation area from which five percent of regulated shipments have originated during such periods.


[41 FR 17528, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 71 FR 41352, July 21, 2006; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.35 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Expenses and Assessments

§ 917.36 Expenses.

Each commodity committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary finds are reasonable and are likely to be incurred by the said commodity committee during each fiscal period for the maintenance and functioning of such committee, including its proportionate share of the expenses of the Control Committee; and for such research and service activities relating to handling of the fruit for which the commodity committee was established as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate. The funds to cover such expenses shall be acquired by the levying of assessments as provided in § 917.37.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.36 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.37 Assessments.

(a) As his/her pro rata share of the expenses which the Secretary finds are reasonable and are likely to be incurred by the commodity committees during a fiscal period, each handler shall pay to the Control Committee, upon demand, assessments on all fruit handled by him/her. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committees may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative.


(b) The Secretary shall fix the respective rate of assessment, which handlers shall pay with respect to each fruit during each fiscal period in an amount designed to secure sufficient funds to cover the respective expenses, which may be incurred during such period. At any time during or after the fiscal period, the Secretary may increase the rates of assessment in order to secure funds to cover any later findings by the Secretary relative to such expenses, and such increase shall apply to all fruit shipped during the fiscal period.


(c) In order to provide funds to carry out the functions of the commodity committee prior to commencement of shipments in any season, shippers may make advance payments of assessments, which advance payments shall be credited to such shippers and the assessments of such shippers shall be adjusted so that such assessments are based upon the quantity of fruit shipped by such shippers during such season. Any shipper who ships fruit for the account of a grower may deduct, from the account of sale covering such shipment or shipments, the amount of assessments levied on said fruit shipped for the account of such grower.


[71 FR 41352, July 21, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.37 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.38 Accounting.

If, at the end of a fiscal period the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, each commodity committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may carry over such excess into subsequent fiscal periods as a reserve: Provided, That funds already in the reserve do not exceed approximately one fiscal period’s expenses. Such reserve funds may be used (1) to cover any expenses authorized by this part and (2) to cover necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part. If any such excess is not retained in a reserve, each handler entitled to a proportionate refund shall be credited with such refund against the operations of the following fiscal period or be paid such refund. Upon termination of this part, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate: Provided, That, to the extent practical, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.38 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Research

§ 917.39 Production research, market research and development.

The committees, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of production research, marketing research, and development projects designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, and consumption or efficient production of fruit. Such projects may provide for any form of marketing promotion including paid advertising. The expenses of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to § 917.37.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.39 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Regulations

§ 917.40 Recommendations for regulations.

(a) Whenever a commodity committee deems it advisable to regulate the handling of any variety or varieties of fruit in the manner provided in § 917.41, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.


(b) In arriving at its recommendations for regulation pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the commodity committee shall give consideration to current information with respect to the factors affecting the supply and demand for such fruit during the period or periods when it is proposed that such regulation should be made effective. With each such recommendation for regulation, the commodity committee shall submit to the Secretary the data and information on which such recommendation is predicated and such other available information as the Secretary may request.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.40 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.41 Issuance of regulations.

(a) The Secretary shall regulate, in the manner specified in this section, the handling of any variety or varieties of fruit whenever he finds, from the recommendations and information submitted by the commodity committee, or from other available information, that such regulations will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act. Such regulations may:


(1) Limit, during any period or periods, the total quantity of any grade, size, quality, maturity, or pack, or any combination thereof, of any variety or varieties of fruit;


(2) Limit the shipment of any variety or varieties of fruit by establishing, in terms of grades, sizes, or both, minimum standards of quality and maturity during any period when season average prices are expected to exceed the parity level;


(3) Fix the size, capacity, weight, dimensions, markings, or pack of the container, or containers, which may be used in the packaging or handling of any fruit.


(b) The commodity committee shall be informed immediately of any such regulation issued by the Secretary, and the commodity committee shall promptly give notice thereof to handlers.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.41 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.42 Modification, suspension, or termination of regulations.

(a) In the event the commodity committee at any time finds that, by reason of changed conditions, any regulations issued pursuant to § 917.41 should be modified, suspended, or terminated, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.


(b) Whenever the Secretary finds, from the recommendations and information submitted by the commodity committee or from other available information, that a regulation should be modified, suspended, or terminated with respect to any or all shipments of fruit in order to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall modify, suspend, or terminate such regulation. If the Secretary finds that a regulation obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act, he shall suspend or terminate such regulation. On the same basis and in like manner the Secretary may terminate any such modification or suspension.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.42 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.43 Special purpose shipments.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person may, without regard to the provisions of §§ 917.37, 917.41, and 917.42, and the regulations issued thereunder, handle fruit (1) for consumption by charitable institutions; (2) for distribution by relief agencies; or (3) for commercial processing into products.


(b) Upon the basis of recommendations and information submitted by the commodity committee, or from other available information, the Secretary may relieve from any or all requirements, under or established pursuant to § 917.41, § 917.42, § 917.45, or § 917.37, the handling of fruit; (1) To designated market areas outside the continental United States; (2) for such specified purposes (including shipments to facilitate the conduct of marketing research and development projects established pursuant to § 917.39); or (3) in such minimum quantities or types of shipments, as may be prescribed.


(c) The commodity committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, prescribe such rules, regulations, and safeguards as it may deem necessary to prevent fruit handled under the provisions of this section from entering the channels of trade for other than the specified purposes authorized by this section. Such rules, regulations, and safeguards may include the requirements that handlers shall file applications and receive approval from the commodity committee for authorization to handle fruit pursuant to this section, and that such applications be accompanied by a certification by the intended purchaser or receiver that the fruit will not be used for any purpose not authorized by this section.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.43 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.45 Inspection and certification.

(a) Whenever the handling of any variety of a particular fruit is regulated pursuant to § 917.41 or § 917.42, each handler who handles such fruit shall, prior thereto, cause such fruit to be inspected by the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service: Provided, That inspection and certification shall not be required if such fruit has previously been so inspected and certified. Promptly after inspection and certification, each such handler shall submit, or cause to be submitted, to the commodity committee a copy of the certificate of inspection issued with respect to such fruit. The commodity committees may, with the approval of the Secretary, prescribe rules and regulations waiving the inspection requirements of this section where it is determined that inspection is not available: Provided, That all shipments made under such waiver shall comply with all regulations in effect.


(b) The Control Committee may enter into an agreement with the Federal and Federal-State Inspection Services with respect to the costs of the inspection required by paragraph (a) of this section, for any or all fruits, and may collect from handlers their respective pro rata shares of such costs.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.45 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Reports

§ 917.50 Reports.

(a) Each handler shall furnish to the Manager of the Control Committee, at such times and for such periods as the Control Committee or the commodity committees may designate, certified reports covering, to the extent necessary for the committees to perform their functions, each shipment of fruits as follows:


(1) The name of the shipper and the shipping point;


(2) The car or truck license number (or name of the trucker), and identification of the carrier;


(3) The date and time of departure;


(4) The number and type of containers in the shipment;


(5) The quantities shipped, showing separately the variety, grade, and size of the fruit;


(6) The destination;


(7) Identification of the inspection certificate or waiver pursuant to which the fruit was handled;


(8) The price per package at which sold, including specific and detailed information relative to all discounts, allowances, rebates, or other adjustments thereof.


(b) Upon request of any committee, made with the approval of the Secretary, each handler shall furnish to the Manager of the Control Committee, in such manner and at such times as it may prescribe, such other information as may be necessary to enable the committee to perform its duties under this part.


(c) Each handler shall maintain for at least two succeeding fiscal years, such records of the fruits received and disposed of by him as may be necessary to verify the reports he submits to the committee pursuant to this section.


(d) All reports and records submitted by handlers pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be received by, and at all times be in custody of, one or more designated employees of the Control Committee. No such employee shall disclose to any person, other than the Secretary upon request therefor, data or information obtained or extracted from such reports and records which might affect the trade position, financial condition, or business operation of the particular handler from whom received: Provided, That such data and information may be combined, and made available to any person, in the form of general reports in which the identities of the individual handlers furnishing the information are not disclosed and may be revealed to any extent necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this part and the regulations issued thereunder.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.50 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Miscellaneous Provisions

§ 917.60 Effective time.

The provisions of this part and of any amendment thereto, shall become effective at such time as the Secretary may declare above his signature and shall continue in force until terminated in one of the ways specified in § 917.61.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.60 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.61 Termination.

(a) The Secretary may at any time terminate the provisions of this part by giving at least one day’s notice by means of a press release or in any other manner in which he may determine.


(b) The Secretary shall terminate or suspend the operation of any and all of the provisions of this part whenever he finds that such provisions do not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the act.


(c) The Secretary shall terminate the provisions of this part or the applicability of the provisions of this part as to a particular fruit whenever he finds by referendum or otherwise that such termination is favored by a majority of the growers of the fruit: Provided, That such majority has during the current fiscal period produced more than 50 percent of the volume of the fruit which was produced within the production area for shipment in fresh form. Such termination shall become effective on the first day of March subsequent to the announcement therof by the Secretary.


(d) The Control Committee shall consider all petitions from growers submitted to it for termination of this part provided such petitions are received by the Control Committee prior to October 1 of the then current fiscal period. Upon recommendation of the Control Committee, received not later than December 1 of the then current fiscal period, the Secretary shall conduct a referendum among the growers of the particular kind of fruit prior to February 15 of such fiscal period to ascertain whether continuance of this part is favored by producers.


(e) The Secretary shall conduct a referendum within the period beginning December 1, 1974, and ending February 15, 1975, to ascertain whether continuance of this part as to any fruit included in this part is favored by the growers. The Secretary shall conduct such a referendum within the same period of every fourth fiscal period thereafter.


(f) The provisions of this part shall, in any event, terminate whenever the provisions of the act authorizing them cease to be in effect.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.61 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.62 Proceedings after termination.

(a) Upon the termination of the provisions of this part pertaining to any fruit or fruits, the Control Committee then functioning shall for the purpose of liquidating the affairs of the Control Committee with respect to such fruit continue as trustee of all the funds and property then in its possession, or under its control, including claims for any funds unpaid or property not delivered at the time of such termination.


(b) The said trustees shall (1) continue in such capacity until discharged by the Secretary; (2) from time to time account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property on hand, together with all books and records of the committee and of the trustees, to such persons as the Secretary may direct; and (3) upon the request of the Secretary, execute such assignments or other instruments necessary or appropriate to vest in such person, full title and right to all funds, property, and claims vested in the Control Committee or the trustees pursuant thereto.


(c) Any person to whom funds, property, or claims have been transferred or delivered, pursuant to this section, shall be subject to the same obligation imposed upon the Control Committee and upon the trustees.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.62 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.63 Effect of termination or amendment.

Unless otherwise expressly provided by the Secretary, the termination of this subpart or of any regulation issued pursuant to this subpart, or the issuance of any amendment to either thereof, shall not (a) affect or waive any right, duty, obligation, or liability which shall have arisen or which may thereafter arise in connection with any provision of this subpart or any regulation issued under this subpart, or (b) release or extinguish any violation of this subpart or of any regulation issued under this subpart, or (c) affect or impair any rights or remedies of the Secretary or of any other person with respect to any such violation.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.63 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.64 Compliance.

Each shipper shall comply with all regulations. No shipper shall ship fruit in violation of the provisions of this part or in violation of any regulation issued by the Secretary pursuant to the provisions of this part.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.64 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.65 Duration of immunities.

The benefits, privileges, and immunities conferred by virtue of the provisions of this subpart shall cease upon its termination except with respect to acts done under and during the time the provisions of this part are in force and effect.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.65 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.66 Agents.

The Secretary may by a designation in writing name any person, including any officer or employee of the Government or any agency or Division in the United States Department of Agriculture, to act as his agent or representative in connection with any of the provisions of this part.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.66 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.67 Derogation.

Nothing contained in this part is or shall be construed to be in derogation or in modification of the rights of the Secretary or of the United States to exercise any powers granted by the act or otherwise, and in accordance with such powers to act in the premises whenever such action is deemed advisable.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.67 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.68 Liability of committee members.

No members of the Control Committee, any commodity committee, or other committee, or any subcommittee, or any employee of the Control Committee shall be held personally responsible, either individually or jointly with others, in any way whatsoever, to any shipper or any other person for errors in judgment, mistakes, or other acts, either of commission or omission, as such member or employee, except for acts of dishonesty.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.68 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.69 Separability.

If any provision of this part is declared invalid or the applicability thereof to any person, circumstance, thing, or any particular kind of fruit is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this part or the applicability thereof to any other person, circumstance, thing, or kind of fruit shall not be affected thereby.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.69 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Subpart B – Administrative Requirements


Source:16 FR 12776, Dec. 20, 1951, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961.

Definitions

§ 917.100 Order.

Order means Marketing Order No. 917, as amended (this part 917), regulating the handling of fresh pears grown in the State of California.


[31 FR 7476, May 5, 1966, as amended at 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.100 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.101 Marketing agreement.

Marketing agreement means Marketing Agreement No. 85 as amended.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.101 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.103 Terms.

All other terms used in this subpart shall have the same meaning as when used in the marketing agreement and order.


[18 FR 712, Feb. 4, 1953. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.103 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

General

§ 917.110 Communications.

Unless otherwise prescribed in this subpart, or in the marketing agreement and order, or required by the Control Committee, or a particular commodity committee, all reports, applications, submittals, requests, and communications in connection with the marketing agreement and order shall be addressed as follows:



California Tree Fruit Agreement, P.O. Box 968, Reedley, CA, 93654-0968.

[63 FR 16041, Apr. 1, 1998, as amended at 71 FR 78041, Dec. 28, 2006]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.110 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Administrative Bodies

§ 917.115 Nomination of shipper members for the Control Committee.

(a) All shippers who, prior to February 1 of the then current year, have not advised the manager of the Control Committee in writing of their participation in the formation of an elective body shall be notified promptly by the manager after that date, by mail, of the time and place for a meeting of such shippers to elect nominees for shipper membership on the Control Committee.


(b) The chairman of the then existing Control Committee shall schedule a meeting of shippers in the month of February of the then current year, for the purpose of making nominations to the shipper membership of the Control Committee; and such chairman is authorized to appoint a member of the Control Committee to act as chairman of the meeting and to conduct the election.



Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.115 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.119 Procedure for nominating members for various Commodity Committees; meetings.

(a) The manager of the then existing Control Committee shall arrange for, and publicize, meetings of growers to nominate members for the different commodity committees, and each such meeting shall be attended by one or more employees of the Control Committee. Members of the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of California may be authorized by the manager to assist in calling such meetings and advise growers, on their respective mailing lists, of such meetings.


(b) Growers assembled at any such meetings may select a chairman and secretary, but in the event none of the aforesaid employees of the Control Committee is selected as secretary of the meeting, one such employee shall, nevertheless, record all nominations made.


(c) The nominations at any meeting shall be conducted according to Robert’s rules of order. However, voting may be by secret ballot or by acclamation in accordance with the desire of the majority of the growers attending the meeting.


(d) No individual, whether representing a corporation or otherwise, may cast more than one vote for each nominee to be selected at the meeting where such individual is eligible to participate in the selection of nominees for members and alternate members of the Commodity Committees.


[16 FR 12776, Dec. 20, 1951, as amended at 24 FR 470, Jan. 21, 1959. Redesignated at 26 FR 12751, Dec. 30, 1961, as amended at 71 FR 78041, Dec. 28, 2006; 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.119 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.121 Changes in nomination of Pear Commodity Committee members.

Nominations for membership on the Pear Commodity Committee shall be made by the growers of pears in the respective representation areas as follows:


(a) North Sacramento Valley District, Central Sacramento Valley District, Placer-Colfax District, El Dorado District, and all of the production area not included in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, one nominee.


(b) Sacramento River District, Stockton District, Stanislaus District, Contra Costa District, Santa Clara District and Solano District, three nominees.


(c) Lake District, six nominees.


(d) Mendocino District and North Bay District, three nominees.


[52 FR 12513, Apr. 17, 1987]


Effective Date Note:At 59 FR 10056, Mar. 3, 1994, § 917.121 was suspended, effective Apr. 4, 1994.

§ 917.122 Qualification requirements and nomination procedure for public members of Commodity Committees.

(a) Public members shall not have a financial interest in or be associated with production, processing, financing, or marketing (except as consumers) of the commodities regulated under this part.


(b) Public members should be able to devote sufficient time and express a willingness to attend committee activities regularly, and to familiarize themselves with the background and economics of the industry.


(c) Public members must be residents of California.


(d) Public members should be nominated by each Commodity Committee and should serve a two-year term which coincides with the term of office of grower members of Commodity Committees.


[42 FR 3625, Jan. 19, 1977, as amended at 43 FR 58355, Dec. 14, 1978]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66605, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.122 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Regulation by Grades, Sizes, and Minimum Standards of Quality and Maturity

§ 917.143 Exemptions.

(a) Waivers. A handler may handle fruit without inspection and certification, as prescribed under § 917.45, if all the following conditions are met:


(1) The handler requests the Federal-State Inspection Service to provide inspection during its regular working hours at least two hours in advance of the time when inspection is needed. The request need not be in writing but it shall be confirmed immediately in writing on a waiver form supplied by the inspection service;


(2) The Federal-State Inspection Service advises the handler that it is not practicable to provide inspection at the time and place designated by the handler. Such advice may be verbal but it shall be confirmed in writing by the Federal-State Inspection Service by execution of the waiver form on which the handler submitted his written request. A confirmed copy thereof shall be forwarded by the inspection service to the office of the Control Committee;


(3) The Federal-State Inspection Service furnishes the handler with the number of the waiver which shall cover the fruit on which inspection is requested;


(4) When so instructed, the handler plainly and conspicuously marks one end of each container with the letter W and the waiver number supplied by the Federal-State Inspection Service. The letter W and the number so marked shall be not less than one-half inch in height.


(b) Minimum quantities. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, pears may be handled without regard to the provisions of §§ 917.37, 917.41, 917.42, 917.45 and 917.50 under the following conditions:


(1) Such pears meet the grade requirements set forth in Articles 35, 38, and 34, respectively of the Food and Agriculture Code of California.


(2) Such pears are for home use and not for resale.


(3) The shipment does not exceed 200 pounds of pears to any one vehicle during any one day.


(4) Such pears are handled by the person who produces them; and the handling takes place (i) on the premises where grown, (ii) at a packinghouse or retail stand nearby which is operated by said handler, or (iii) at a certified farmers market in compliance with section 1392 of the regulations of the California Department of Food and Agriculture: Provided, That the exemption for certified farmers markets shall not apply to fruit sorted out by a handler unless such fruit is packed in containers clearly and legibly marked to show that the fruit contained therein is only to be sold at a certified farmers market, and the handler complies with regulations established under §§ 917.37, 917.41(a)(1), 917.45, and 917.50, except that such fruit may be handled to such markets if the fruit fails to meet the applicable grade only on account of being soft and overripe.


[31 FR 7476, May 24, 1966, as amended at 41 FR 22071, June 1, 1976; 41 FR 28509, July 12, 1976; 42 FR 22875, May 5, 1977; 47 FR 30452, July 14, 1982; 49 FR 36361, Sept. 17, 1984; 53 FR 18818, May 25, 1988; 56 FR 46369, Sept. 12, 1991; 76 FR 66606, Oct. 27, 2011]


Effective Date Note:At 76 FR 66606, Oct. 27, 2011, § 917.143 was suspended indefinitely, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

§ 917.149 Special purpose shipments.

Any person may file a request with the Pear Commodity Committee to transport pears to a packing facility located in the State of Oregon without inspection and certification prior to such transporting. The committee may approve such a request subject to the following terms and conditions:


(a) Approval shall be requested by the person prior to transporting the pears out of the area of production.


(b) Such person shall file with the committee, in such manner as required, reports showing, among other things, the date and quantity of pears comprising each shipment of pears transported to Oregon and the disposition thereof.


(c) All such pears shall be of the person’s own production and the packing facility to which they are transported must be owned and operated by that person.


(d) All such pears shall be inspected and certified, as required by § 917.45, by the Federal or Federal-State Inspection Service prior to the time such pears are shipped from the packing facility. Any pears shipped to any such facility which, upon inspection, do not meet the requirements of the then effective grade, size, or quality regulations, may be shipped, or handled, within the State, for consumption by any charitable institution or for distribution by any relief agency or for conversion into products. Prior to any such shipment or handling, there shall first have been submitted to the committee proof satisfactory to the committee that the pears will not be handled contrary to the requirements of the marketing agreement and order. Such proof shall include a written certificate, executed by both the handler and the intended receiver, stating that the pears will not be used for any purpose not authorized by this section.


[41 FR 31180, July 27, 1976]


Effective Date Note:At 59 FR 10056, Mar. 3, 1994, § 917.149 was suspended, effective Apr. 4, 1994.

Regulation of Daily Shipments

Reports

§ 917.176 Pears.

(a) Report of daily packout. When requested by the Pear Commodity Committee, each shipper who ships pears shall furnish to the manager of the Control Committee or when designated to the Federal-State Inspection Service a report of the number of packages by container type, by variety and by district of origin, which the shipper packed during the preceding day.


(b) Recapitulation of shipments. When requested by the Pear Commodity Committee, each shipper of pears shall furnish to the manager of the Control Committee a recapitulation of his shipments. The recapitulation shall show:


(1) The name of the shipper,


(2) The shipping point,


(3) The district of origin,


(4) The variety, and


(5) The number of packages, by size, for each container type.


(c) Report of pears held in storage. Each shipper who has pears under refrigeration in a storage warehouse shall upon request, file with the manager of the Control Committee within the time specified in the request an accurate report containing the following information:


(1) The name and address of the shipper; and


(2) The total quantity, as of the date specified in the request, of pears in storage outside of the State of California and in storage in the State of California.


[39 FR 27117, July 25, 1974]


Effective Date Note:At 59 FR 10056, Mar. 3, 1994, § 917.176 was suspended, effective Apr. 4, 1994.

Subpart C – Grade and Size Requirements

§ 917.461 Pear Regulation 12.

(a) No handler shall ship:


(1) Bartlett or Max-Red (Max-Red Bartlett, Red Bartlett) varieties of pears which do not grade at least U.S. Combination with not less than 80 percent, by count, of the pears grading at least U.S. No. 1: Provided, That for the 1992 crop year, no handler shall ship organic pears of these varieties unless they grade at least U.S. Combination with not less than 50 percent, by count, grading at least U.S. No. 1 and the remainder grading at least U.S. No. 2, except that russeting shall not be scored as a defect for such organic pears. Handlers who intend to ship organic pears in accordance with this paragraph shall provide, upon request of the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, information to indicate that the pears were grown in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b)(5) of this section.


(2) Any box or container, including consumer packages in master containers and consumer packages not in master containers, of Bartlett or Max-Red (Max-Red Bartlett, Red Bartlett) varieties of pears unless such pears are of a size not smaller than the size known commercially as size 165;


(3) Any box or container, other than consumer packages in master containers and consumer packages not in master containers, of Bartlett or Max-Red (Max-Red Bartlett, Red Bartlett) varieties of pears unless such box or container is stamped or otherwise marked, in plain sight and in plain letters, on one outside end with the name of the variety;


(4) Bartlett or Max-Red (Max-Red Bartlett, Red Bartlett) varieties of pears, when packed in closed containers, other than consumer packages in master containers and consumer packages not in master containers, unless such box or container conforms to the requirement of standard pack, except that such pears may be fairly tightly packed;


(5) Bartlett or Max-Red (Max-Red Bartlett, Red Bartlett) varieties of pears, when packed in other than a closed container, unless such pears do not vary more than
3/8 inch in their transverse diameter for counts 120 or less, and
1/4 inch for counts 135 to 165, inclusive: Provided, That 10 percent of the containers in any lot may fail to meet the requirements of this subparagraph: Provided further, That such varieties of pears shipped in bulk bin containers containing 300 pounds or more of pears shall be exempt from the requirements in this subparagraph.


(6) Any volume-filled box or container of Bartlett or Max-Red (Max-Red Bartlett, Red Bartlett) varieties of pears (not packed in rows and not wrap packed), other than consumer packages in master containers and consumer packages not in master containers, unless (i) such boxes or containers are well filled with pears fairly uniform in size; (ii) such pears are packed fairly tight; (iii) there is an approved top pad in each box or container that will cover the fruit with no more than
1/4 inch between the pad and any side or end of the box or container; and (iv) the top of the box or container shall be securely fastened to the bottom: Provided, That 10 percent of the boxes or containers in any lot may fail to meet the requirements of this paragraph.


(7) Each master container, when filled with pears packed in consumer packages, shall bear on one outside end in plain sight and plain letters the varietal name and size description of the contents; the number of consumer packages packed in the master container; the net weight of each consumer package; and the name and address, including zip code, of the handler.


(8) Each individual consumer package shall bear the name and address, including the zip code, of the handler and the net weight of the contents. When a consumer package is not shipped in a master container, it must also bear the varietal name, number and size description of pears contained in the package.


(b) Definitions. (1) Size known commercially as size 165 means a size of pear that will pack a standard pear box, packed in accordance with the specifications of standard pack, with 165 pears and that one-half of the count size designated, representative of the size of the pears in the box or container, shall weigh at least 22 pounds.


(2) Standard pear box means the container so designated in § 1380.19 of the regulations of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.


(3) U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 2, U.S. Combination, and Standard Pack mean the same as defined in the United States Standards for Summer and Fall Pears (7 CFR 51.1260 to 51.1280).


(4) Approved top pad shall mean a pad of wood-type excelsior construction, fairly uniform in thickness, weighing at least 160 pounds per 1,000 square feet (e.g., an 11 inch by 17 inch pad will weigh at least 21 pounds per 100 pads) or an equivalent made of material other than wood excelsior approved by the committee.


(5) Organic pears means pears which are produced, harvested, distributed, stored, processed and packaged without application of synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, or growth regulators. In addition, no synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides, or growth regulators shall be applied by the grower to the field or area in which the pears are grown for 12 months prior to the appearance of flower buds and throughout the entire growing and harvest season for pears.


(6) Consumer package means a package holding 15 pounds or less net weight of pears.


[46 FR 48116, Oct. 1, 1981, as amended at 47 FR 34116, Aug. 6, 1982; 54 FR 32796, Aug. 10, 1989; 55 FR 25958, June 26, 1990; 56 FR 32063, July 15, 1991; 57 FR 31093, July 14, 1992]


Effective Date Note:At 59 FR 10056, Mar. 3, 1994, § 917.461 was suspended, effective Apr. 4, 1994.

PART 920 – KIWIFRUIT GROWN IN CALIFORNIA


Authority:7 U.S.C. 601-674.


Source:49 FR 39658, Oct. 10, 1984, unless otherwise noted.

Definitions

§ 920.1 Secretary.

Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, or any officer or employee of the Department of whom authority has heretofore been delegated, or to whom authority may hereafter be delegated.


§ 920.2 Act.

Act means Public Act No. 10, 73d Congress (May 12, 1933), as amended and as reenacted and amended by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (48 Stat. 31, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).


§ 920.3 Person.

Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association or any other business unit.


§ 920.4 Production area.

Production area means the State of California.


§ 920.5 Kiwifruit.

Kiwifruit means all varieties of kiwifruit, or kiwi grown in the production area.


[58 FR 65102, Dec. 13, 1993]


§ 920.6 Varieties.

Varieties means and includes all classifications or subdivisions of kiwifruit.


§ 920.7 Fiscal period.

Fiscal period is synonymous with fiscal year and means a 12-month period beginning on August 1 of one year and ending on the last day of July of the following year or such other period as the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe.


§ 920.8 Committee.

Committee means the Kiwifruit Administrative Committee established pursuant to § 920.20.


§ 920.9 Grower.

Grower is synonymous with producer and means any person who produces kiwifruit for the fresh market and who has a proprietary interest therein.


§ 920.10 Handler.

Handler is synonymous with shipper and means any person (except a common or contract carrier transporting kiwifruit owned by another person) who handles kiwifruit.


§ 920.11 Handle.

Handle and ship are synonymous and mean to sell, consign, deliver, or transport kiwifruit, or to cause kiwifruit to be sold, consigned, delivered, or transported, between the production area and any point outside thereof, or within the production area: Provided, That the term handle shall not include the sale of kiwifruit on the vine, the transportation within the production area of kiwifruit from the vineyard where grown to a packing facility located within such area for preparation for market, or the delivery of such kiwifruit to such packing facility for such preparation.


§ 920.12 District.

District means the applicable one of the following described subdivisions of the production area or such other subdivision as may be prescribed pursuant to § 920.31:


(a) District 1 shall include Butte, Sutter, and Yuba Counties.


(b) District 2 shall include Tulare County.


(c) District 3 shall include all counties within the production area not included in Districts 1 and 2.


[75 FR 37291, June 29, 2010]


§ 920.13 Pack.

Pack means the specific arrangement, size, weight, count, or grade of a quantity of kiwifruit in a particular type and size of container, or any combination thereof.


§ 920.14 Container.

Container means a box, bag, crate, lug, basket, carton, package, or any other type of receptacle used in the packaging or handling of kiwifruit.


Administrative Body

§ 920.20 Establishment and membership.

There is hereby established a Kiwifruit Administrative Committee consisting of 12 members, each of whom shall have an alternate who shall have the same qualifications as the member for whom he or she is an alternate. The 12-member committee shall be made up of the following: One public member (and alternate), and eleven members (and alternates). With the exception of the public member and alternate, all members and their respective alternates shall be growers or employees of growers. In accordance with § 920.31(l), district representation on the committee shall be based upon the previous five-year average production in the district and shall be established so as to provide an equitable relationship between membership and districts. The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, provide such other allocation of membership as may be necessary to assure equitable representation.


[75 FR 37291, June 29, 2010]


§ 920.21 Term of office.

The term of office of each member and alternate member of the committee shall be for two years from the date of their selection and until their successors are selected. The terms of office shall begin on August 1 and end on the last day of July, or such other dates as the committee may recommend and the Secretary approve. Members may serve up to three consecutive 2-year terms not to exceed 6 consecutive years as members. Alternate members may serve up to three consecutive 2-year terms not to exceed 6 consecutive years as alternate members.


[76 FR 4202, Jan. 25, 2011]


§ 920.22 Nomination.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the committee shall hold, or cause to be held, not later than June 1 of each year in which nominations are made, or such other date as may be specified by the Secretary, a meeting or meetings of growers in each district for the purpose of designating nominees to serve as grower members and alternates on the committee. Any such meetings shall be supervised by the committee, which shall prescribe such procedures as shall be reasonable and fair to all persons concerned.


(b) Nominations in any or all districts may be conducted by mail in a manner recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.


(c) Only growers may participate in the nomination of grower members and their alternates. Each grower shall be entitled to cast only one vote for each position to be filled in the district in which such grower produces kiwifruit. No grower shall participate in the election of nominees in more than one district in any one fiscal year.


(d) A particular grower shall be eligible for membership as member or alternate member to fill only one position on the committee.


(e) The public member and alternate shall be nominated by the grower members of the committee.


[57 FR 1219, Jan. 12, 1992, as amended at 75 FR 37291, June 29, 2010]


§ 920.23 Selection.

From the nominations made pursuant to § 920.22, or from other qualified persons, the Secretary shall select the 12 members of the committee and an alternate for each such member, with the exception of the public member and alternate member, who shall be selected by the Secretary in his discretion.


§ 920.24 Failure to nominate.

If nominations are not made within the time and in the manner prescribed in § 920.22, the Secretary may, without regard to nominations, select the members and alternate members of the committee on the basis of the representation provided for in § 920.20.


§ 920.25 Acceptance.

Each person to be selected by the Secretary as a member or as an alternate member of the committee shall, prior to such selection, qualify by advising the Secretary that he/she agrees to serve in the position for which nominated for selection.


§ 920.26 Vacancies.

To fill any vacancy occasioned by the failure of any person selected as a member or as an alternate member of the committee to qualify, or in the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of any member or alternate member of the committee, a successor for the unexpired term of such member or alternate member of the committee shall be nominated and selected, or, in the case of the public member and alternate, selected by the Secretary in his discretion, in the manner specified in §§ 920.22 and 920.23. If the names of nominees to fill any such vacancy are not made available to the Secretary within a reasonable time after such vacancy occurs, the Secretary may fill such vacancy without regard to nominations, which selection shall be made on the basis of representation provided for in § 920.20.


§ 920.27 Alternate members.

An alternate member of the committee, during the absence of the member for whom that individual is an alternate, shall act in the place and stead of such member and perform such other duties as assigned. In the event both a member and his or her alternate are unable to attend a committee meeting, the committee may designate any other alternate member from the same district to serve in such member’s place and stead. In the event of the death, removal, resignation, or disqualification of a member, the alternate of such member shall act for him or her until a successor for such member is selected and has qualified.


[79 FR 30445, May 28, 2014]


§ 920.30 Powers.

The committee shall have the following powers:


(a) To administer the provisions of this part in accordance with its terms;


(b) To receive, investigate, and report to the Secretary complaints of violations of the provisions of this part;


(c) To make and adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the terms and provisions of this part; and


(d) To recommend to the Secretary amendments to this part.


§ 920.31 Duties.

The committee shall have, among others, the following duties:


(a) To select a chairperson and such other officers as may be necessary, and to define the duties of such officers;


(b) To appoint such employees, agents and representatives as it may deem necessary, and to determine compensation and to define the duties of each;


(c) To submit to the Secretary as soon as practicable after the beginning of each fiscal period a budget for such fiscal period, including a report in explanation of the items appearing therein and a recommendation as to the rate of assessment for such period;


(d) To keep minutes, books and records which will reflect all of the acts and transactions of the committee and which shall be subject to examination by the Secretary;


(e) To prepare periodic statements of the financial operations of the committee and to make copies of each such statement available to growers and handlers for examination at the office of the committee;


(f) To cause its books to be audited by a public accountant at least once each fiscal year and at such times as the Secretary may request;


(g) To act as intermediary between the Secretary and any grower or handler;


(h) To investigate and assemble data on the growing, handling and marketing conditions with respect to kiwifruit;


(i) To submit to the Secretary the same notice of meetings of the committee as is given to its members;


(j) To submit to the Secretary such available information as may be requested;


(k) To investigate compliance with the provisions of this part;


(l) With the approval of the Secretary, to redefine the districts into which the production area is divided and to reapportion the representation of any district on the committee: Provided, That any such changes shall reflect, insofar as practicable, shifts in kiwifruit production within the districts and the production area.


§ 920.32 Procedure.

(a) Eight members of the committee, or alternates acting for members, shall constitute a quorum and any action of the committee shall require the concurring vote of the majority of those present: Provided, That actions of the committee with respect to expenses and assessments, production and postharvest research, market research and development, or recommendations for regulations pursuant to §§ 920.50 through 920.55, of this part shall require at least eight concurring votes.


(b) Committee meetings may be assembled or held by telephone, video conference, or other means of communication. The committee may vote by telephone, facsimile, or other means of communication. Votes by members or alternates present at assembled meetings shall be cast in person. Votes by members or alternates participating by telephone or other means of communication shall be by roll call; Provided, That a video conference shall be considered an assembled meeting, and votes by those participating through video conference shall be considered as cast in person.


[49 FR 39658, Oct. 10, 1984, as amended at 75 FR 37291, June 29, 2010; 79 FR 30445, May 28, 2014]


§ 920.33 Expenses and compensation.

(a) Except for the public member and alternate, the members of the committee, and alternates when acting as members, shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties under this part: Provided, That the committee at its discretion may request the attendance of one or more alternates, including the public alternate, at any or all meetings notwithstanding the expected or actual presence of the respective members and may pay expenses as aforesaid.


(b) The public member and alternate shall be reimbursed for expenses necessarily incurred by them in the performance of their duties under this part, and shall receive per diem compensation established by the committee.


§ 920.34 Annual report.

The committee shall, as soon as is practicable after the close of each marketing season, prepare and mail an annual report to the Secretary and make a copy available to each grower and handler who requests a copy of the report.


Expenses and Assessments

§ 920.40 Expenses.

The committee is authorized to incur such expenses as the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the committee for its maintenance and functioning and to enable it to exercise its powers and perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of this part. The funds to cover such expenses shall be acquired in the manner prescribed in § 920.41.


§ 920.41 Assessments.

(a) As his or her pro rata share of the expenses which the Secretary finds are reasonable and likely to be incurred by the committee during a fiscal period, each person who first handles kiwifruit during such period shall pay to the committee, upon demand, assessments on all kiwifruit so handled. The payment of assessments for the maintenance and functioning of the committee may be required under this part throughout the period it is in effect, irrespective of whether particular provisions thereof are suspended or become inoperative. If a handler does not pay any assessment within the time prescribed by the committee, the assessment may be subject to an interest or late payment charge, or both, as may be established by the Secretary upon recommendation of the committee.


(b) The Secretary shall fix the rate of assessment to be paid by each such person during a fiscal period in an amount designed to secure sufficient funds to cover the expenses which may be incurred during such period and to accumulate and maintain a reserve fund equal to approximately one fiscal period’s expenses. At any time during or after the fiscal period, the Secretary may increase the rate of assessment in order to secure sufficient funds to cover any later finding by the Secretary relative to the expenses which may be incurred: Provided, That any assessment, excluding any amount collected pursuant to § 920.55(c), must be limited to a maximum assessment rate of three and one-half cents per flat, or the equivalent thereof. The Secretary may increase this maximum rate in each succeeding year after the initial year of order operation by the Consumer Price Index (cost of living) for California as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such increase shall be applied to all kiwifruit handled during the applicable fiscal period. In order to provide funds for the administration of the provisions of this part during the first part of a fiscal period before sufficient operating income is available from assessments on the current year’s shipments, the committee may accept the payment of assessments in advance, and may also borrow money for such purposes.


[49 FR 39658, Oct. 10, 1984, as amended at 57 FR 1220, Jan. 12, 1992]


§ 920.42 Accounting.

(a) If, at the end of a fiscal period, the assessments collected are in excess of expenses incurred, such excess shall be accounted for in accordance with one of the following:


(1) If such excess is not retained in a reserve, as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, it shall be refunded proportionately to the persons from whom it was collected: Provided, That any sum paid by a person in excess of his or her pro rata share of the expenses during any fiscal period may be applied by the committee at the end of such fiscal period to any outstanding obligations due the committee from such person.


(2) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may carry over such excess into subsequent fiscal periods as a reserve: Provided, That funds already in the reserve do not equal approximately one fiscal period’s expenses. Such reserve funds may be used: (i) To defray expenses, during any fiscal period, prior to the time assessment income is insufficient to cover such expenses; (ii) to cover deficits incurred during any fiscal year when assessment income is less than expenses; (iii) to defray expenses incurred during any period when any or all provisions of this part are suspended or are inoperative; and, (iv) to cover necessary expenses of liquidation in the event of termination of this part. Upon such termination, any funds not required to defray the necessary expenses of liquidation shall be disposed of in such manner as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate: Provided, That to the extent practical, such funds shall be returned pro rata to the persons from whom such funds were collected.


(b) All funds received by the committee pursuant to the provisions of this part shall be used solely for the purpose specified in this part and shall be accounted for in the manner provided in this part. The Secretary may at any time require the committee and its members to account for all receipts and disbursements.


(c) Upon the removal or expiration of the term of office of any member of the committee, such member shall account for all receipts and disbursements and deliver all property and funds in his or her possession to the committee, and shall execute such assignments and other instruments as may be necessary or appropriate to vest in the committee full title to all of the property, funds, and claims vested in such member pursuant to this part.


§ 920.45 Contributions.

The committee may accept voluntary contributions, but these shall only be used to pay expenses incurred pursuant to § 920.47 and § 920.48. Furthermore, such contributions shall be free from any encumbrances by the donor, and the committee shall retain complete control of their use.


[79 FR 30445, May 28, 2014]


§ 920.47 Production and postharvest research.

The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of projects involving research designed to assist or improve the efficient production and postharvest handling of kiwifruit.


[79 FR 30445, May 28, 2014]


§ 920.48 Market research and development.

The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of marketing research and development projects designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, and consumption of kiwifruit.


[79 FR 30445, May 28, 2014]


Regulations

§ 920.50 Marketing policy.

(a) Each season prior to making any recommendations pursuant to § 920.51, the committee shall submit to the Secretary a report setting forth its marketing policy for the ensuing marketing season. Such marketing policy report shall contain information relative to:


(1) The estimated total production of kiwifruit within the production area;


(2) The expected general quality and size of kiwifruit in the production area and in other areas;


(3) The expected demand conditions for kiwifruit in different market outlets;


(4) The expected shipments of kiwifruit produced in the production area and in areas outside the production area;


(5) Supplies of competing commodities;


(6) Trend and level of consumer income;


(7) Other factors having a bearing on the marketing of kiwifruit; and


(8) The type of regulations expected to be recommended during the marketing season.


(b) [Reserved]


§ 920.51 Recommendations for regulation.

(a) Whenever the committee deems it advisable to regulate the handling of any variety or varieties of kiwifruit in the manner provided in § 920.52, it shall so recommend to the Secretary.


(b) In arriving at its recommendations for regulation pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the committee shall give consideration to current information with respect to the factors affecting the supply and demand for kiwifruit during the period or periods when it is proposed that such regulations should be made effective. With each such recommendation for regulation, the committee shall submit to the Secretary the data and information on which such recommendation is predicated and such other available