Michigan’s apple producers have approved a referendum to continue the Michigan Apple Advertising and Promotion Program.
Established in July 1968, the Michigan Apple Advertising and Promotion Program was developed to enhance the economic position of Michigan apple producers through advertising, promotion and publicity programs; to conduct market development and research; and to obtain and disseminate other apple industry information important to producers.
The program is a public body independent of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. It is comprised of seven apple producers appointed by the Governor.
The MDARD Director and a person appointed by the Dean of the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources are non-voting ex-officio members. The board is responsible for the implementation of the program.
The program will continue for an additional five years beginning Sept. 1, 2018, and ending Aug. 31, 2023. The current assessment rates are 52 cents per hundredweight for fresh apples, 28 cents for apples sold for processing, and 11 cents for apples sold for juice.
Included are a 4-cent per hundredweight assessment for research and up to 3-cent per hundredweight for promotion of U.S. apples with the United States Apple Association.
A total of 113 ballots were cast in the referendum. Of those, 85 producers voted yes (75 percent), representing 15,772,156 bushels (87 percent of the production represented) and 28 producers voted no (25 percent) representing 2,303,286 pounds (13 percent of the production represented).
“The large percentage of Michigan apple growers who approved the checkoff proves just how valuable it is to them,” said Kevin Robson, horticulture expert with Michigan Farm Bureau. “Without actively marketing their products to consumers, farmers cannot hope to survive.”
For renewal of the program and its activities, more than 50 percent of the voting producers, representing more than 50 percent of the production of those voting, must have approved it.