Media Contacts: Steve Lyle, Director of Public Affairs, (916) 654-0462, email@example.com,
SACRAMENTO, January 24, 2007 - The California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced a referendum among pistachio growers to consider continuation of the California Pistachio Commission, which collects assessments in order to conduct promotion, research and issue management activities on behalf of the industry.
According to Pistachio Commission Law, a referendum must be conducted every five years. However, this referendum is being conducted as one action required under a department issued decision and order issued July 2006 under Food and Agricultural Code sections 69032 and 69051(d). If approved, it would grant a two-year continuation.
Ballots are being sent to growers this week. All ballots must be postmarked no later than February 14, 2007. In order for the election results to carry, at least 40 percent of growers must participate in the referendum. Additionally, those growers must constitute a majority of all growers representing 65 percent of the volume marketed in the 2005-’06 marketing season or 65 percent of all growers representing a majority of product marketed in the 2005-’06 marketing season. The ballot will consist of two parts. Part A asks whether or not the assessment payers agree to the continuation of the commission for at least two years while alternative forms of structure are explored by the commission, the industry, and the department. Part B asks assessment payers to choose from three options for restructure:
1. The commission board’s written proposal
2. An alternative proposal submitted by an assessment payer
3. None of the above
Each the two proposals for restructure would require legislation before they could go into effect. Pistachio growers with questions about the referendum may call Lynn Morgan, chief of CDFA’s marketing branch, at 916-341-6005.