Florida citrus: USDA sets new handler rules - FreshFruitPortal.com

USDA sets handler registration requirement for Florida citrus

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a final rule requiring citrus handlers in Florida to register with the Citrus Administrative Committee in order to ship regulated citrus outside the production area beginning in the 2019 – 2020 fiscal year.

The final rule applies to the federal marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida.

The committee recommended this action to obtain current and accurate information of handlers and 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 August 1 of each fiscal period.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on Sept. 8, 2020. The rule goes into effect Oct. 8, 2020.

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.

More information about the marketing order regulating the handling of citrus grown in Florida is available on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 905 Florida Citrus webpage.

More information about federal marketing orders is available on the AMS Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage.