Hank Giclas, senior vice president for science, technology and strategic planning at Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers, said there is still no indication on when the USDA will act on a National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. The agency issued a proposed rule on the marketing agreement last April after considering the concept since 2007.
Giclas said he believes USDA will wait on issuing the final rule on the national leafy green marketing agreement until after the FDA issues its long-delayed produce safety rules.
If and when the USDA does publish a final rule on the leafy greens marketing agreement, Giclas assumes the program would have to demonstrate support within the industry before it is formally established. “You would have to people signing up for it for the USDA to determine there is the critical mass to move it forward,” Giclas said.