New Rule for Florida Citrus Handlers

Ernie NeffRegulation

© Florida Department of Citrus

Citrus handlers in Florida must register with the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) in order to ship regulated citrus outside the production area beginning in the 2019-20 fiscal year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule requiring the registration. The rule applies to the federal marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The rule was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 8 and goes into effect Oct. 8, 2020.

The CAC recommended this action to obtain current and accurate information about handlers and to assist with the administration of the marketing order, including compliance.

To meet the requirements to become a registered handler, the handler’s facilities need to be in the production area in permanent, nonportable buildings with nonportable equipment for grading, sizing, washing and packing Florida-grown citrus. Handlers will need to apply for registration with the committee no later than Aug. 1 of each fiscal period.

More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of citrus grown in Florida is available on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Florida Citrus webpage. More information about federal marketing orders is available on the AMS Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by calling the Marketing Order and Agreement Division at 202-720-2491.

Marketing orders are authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. Marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help fruit, vegetable and specialty crop producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually. AMS provides oversight to 29 fruit, vegetable and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.

Peter Chaires is manager of the CAC, which administers Florida’s fresh citrus marketing order.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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