The National Pecan Federation Announces a Proposed New Research and Promotion Program for Domestic and Imported Pecans
All Participants in the Pecan Industry:
The National Pecan Federation (NPF), the advocacy group for the Pecan Industry in Washington, D.C., has been working with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a new Research and Promotion Program for the pecan industry. This new program would assess both domestic and imported pecans to increase monies available for Research and Promotion of pecans. Under this program, U.S. growers and handlers will not pay any more in assessments than they are currently paying to the American Pecan Council (APC). All additional funds for research and promotion will come from imported pecans. This information has been disseminated at the various industry conferences this spring, but in light of conference cancellations, we wanted to report this information more broadly through industry publications.
Research and experience of dozens of crops as well as our own have shown that an important tool to increase crop prices by correcting future supply/demand imbalances is to promote pecans aggressively in major consumer markets, primarily the United States.
One problem all pecan industry participants recognize is that no foreign grown pecans imported into the United States are assessed by the American Pecan Council. The law under which the APC was established prevents it from assessing foreign grown pecans imported into the U.S. As a result, producers and handlers in the U.S. have to promote their pecan crop as well as any foreign grown pecans imported into the U.S.
Therefore, the NPF has been working to create a new USDA overseen program called the American Pecan Promotion Board (APPB). The APPB would have the authority to assess both pecans grown in the U.S. and imported into the U.S. At current import levels that would nearly double the amount of money for research and promotion, or bring in an additional $4 to $6 million per year. This new money for research and promotion will be critical for the success of increasing demand to meet future supply.
Setting aside the uneven playing field for U.S. growers and handlers, the pecan industry needs more money to promote its healthy, tasty product and we believe we can grow the demand for pecans with more research and promotion money.
The initial Board for the APPB will consist of both U.S. Producers (growers) and Importers (importers will include U.S. based shellers/importers as well as foreign-based importers). The Secretary of Agriculture will select the U.S. producer board members and the importer board members. In the future, we will again provide information in industry publications to set out the procedure for nominating persons for service on the new APPB. This new proposal will be published by USDA in the Federal Register, giving all segments of the industry and all individuals an opportunity to comment on the proposal.
It is hard to explain all the details in a short letter, but please look for more information from us soon. We cannot close without reiterating two important matters that are part of this proposed program: 1) U.S. growers and handlers will not pay any more in assessments than they are currently paying to the APC, and 2) all additional new funds for research and promotion will come from imported pecans. Again, more information will follow.
– NATIONAL PECAN FEDERATION