Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order; Assessment Rate Increase
This proposed rule invites comments on amending the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $0.01 per pound to $0.015 per pound on honey and honey products, over a two- year period. The Order limits an increase in the assessment rate to no more than one-quarter cent per year. Thus, the rate would increase to $0.0125 per pound for the period January 1 through December 31, 2015, and to $0.015 per pound on and after January 1, 2016. The Order is administered by the Honey Packers and Importers Board (Board) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the program, assessments are collected from first handlers (packers) and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for honey and honey products in the United States and abroad. Additional funds would allow the Board to expand its production research activities and promotional efforts. The Boards production research focuses on maintaining the health of honey bee colonies. Increasing demand for honey and honey products would benefit the honey industry as a whole. This action also makes three additional changes to: Clarify that the assessment rate applies not only to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule numbers but to any other numbers used to identify honey; change the length of time that books and records are to be held; and change the exemption requirements.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho, and Malheur County, Oregon; Modification of Container Requirements
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that modified the container requirements prescribed under the Idaho-Eastern Oregon potato marketing order. The interim rule removed the requirement that fiberboard cartons used to pack 50-pound quantities of U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes be of one-piece construction. This change is in response to market demands and provides handlers flexibility in shipping U.S. No. 2 grade potatoes. In addition, this rule corrected a citation reference in the handling regulations.
Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Late Payment and Interest Charges on Past Due Assessments
This proposal invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges on past due assessments under the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order). The Order is administered by the National Processed Raspberry Council (Council) with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under the Order, assessments are collected from domestic producers and importers and used for research and promotion projects designed to maintain and expand the market for processed raspberries. This proposal would implement authority contained in the Order that allows the Council to collect late payment and interest charges on past due assessments. Three additional changes are proposed to reflect current practices and update the Order and regulations. This action would contribute to effective administration of the program.
Avocados Grown in South Florida and Imported Avocados; Clarification of the Avocado Grade Requirements
This rule changes the minimum grade requirements currently prescribed under the Florida avocado marketing order (order) and makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation. The order regulates the handling of avocados grown in South Florida, and is administered locally by the Avocado Administrative Committee (Committee). For South Florida-grown avocados, this rule aligns the regulations with current industry practices. It removes language permitting the commingling of avocados with dissimilar characteristics in containers for shipment within the production area. All avocado shipments within the production area need to meet the provisions of a U.S. No. 2 grade, as provided in the United States Standards for Grades of Florida Avocados. For imported avocados, this rule also makes a technical correction to the avocado import regulation to clarify that the minimum grade requirements for imported avocados remains unchanged at a U.S. No. 2.
Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order; Section 610 Review
This document summarizes the results of an Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of the Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order (Order) under criteria contained in section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). Based upon its review, AMS concluded that there is a continued need for the Order.
Notice of Inquiry; Request for Comments on a New Beef Promotion, Research, and Information Order
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) requests public comments to inform its development of a beef promotion, research, and information order under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1996 (1996 Act). This request for comments offers the opportunity for interested individuals and organizations to provide views concerning provisions that would be included in an industry-funded promotion, research, and information program for beef and beef products. The proposed order would be in addition to the existing beef promotion and research program established under the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (1985 Act). A referendum on an order established under the 1996 Act would be conducted 3 years after assessments begin to determine whether beef producers favor the program and if it should continue. A second referendum would be held within 7 years of the start of the program.