This is a self-help program overseen by USDA that provides pecan funds to be spent by pecan people for the benefit of the pecan industry.
Historically the U.S. pecan industry has fairly stagnant over the past 50 years. There has not been much change in crop or demand from the 1960’s until recently. But now demand has been increasing, and growers see a chance to create a stable supply that grows with demand. They formed the American Pecan Board in 2013 and began working diligently to create the marketing order.
The order will market and promote pecans to increase demand and prices. Equally important is a commitment to research, including product development. They also intend to gather and publish accurate industry data, establish grade, quality and size standards. and develop packaging and container standards.
To pay for all this, the Board will assess fees ranging from 1 to 3 cents per pound of pecans, depending upon the category of nuts. In a recent study conducted by Texas A&M, a 2.5 cent investment in marketing will have a benefit of more than 6 cents.
The order, which must be renewed every 5 years, will be overseen by the USDA and the Secretary of Agriculture. It creates the American Pecan Council, which will be the governing board with 17 members – nine growers, six shellers, and two at-large members. It divides the country into 3 regions – Eastern, central, and Western – with each region having equal representation on the Board.
California pecan growers are excited about the Marketing Order, and have been very involved in the formation and development process. They expect it will change the industry forever, and for the better.
I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.