Nectarines and Peaches Grown in California; Order Amending Marketing Order Nos. 916 and 917
This rule amends Marketing Orders Nos. 916 and 917 (orders), which regulate the handling of nectarines and peaches grown in California. The amendments are based on those proposed by the Nectarine Administrative Committee (NAC), the Peach Commodity Committee (PCC), and the Control Committee (part of M.O. No. 917) (Committees), which are responsible for local administration of orders 916 and 917. The amendments to order 917 only apply to peaches. The amendments would: update definitions for ``handle'', ``grower'', and add a definition for ``pure grower'' to both orders; increase committee membership of the NAC from eight to thirteen members and modify sections of order 916 to conform to the increased membership; eliminate the Shippers Advisory Committee in order 916; allow the Control Committee under order 917 to be suspended if the provisions of one commodity are suspended and transfer applicable duties and responsibilities to the remaining Commodity Committee; authorize interest and late payment charges on assessments paid late in both orders; and other related amendments. With the exception of the proposal to allow the Peach Commodity Committee to borrow funds, all of the proposals were favored by nectarine and peach growers in a mail referendum, held March 6 through 24, 2006. The amendments are intended to streamline and improve the administration, operation, and functioning of the orders.