WASHINGTON, D.C. — Almond producers have voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates the handling of almonds grown in California, according to a news release.

The vote was taken in a referendum conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service April 6 through April 24 to determine whether eligible producers favor continuance of their federal marketing order.

In the referendum, 95% of producers voting — representing 96% of total almond volume — favored continuance of the order.

Those eligible to participate in the referendum were current almond producers who were also engaged in the production of almonds during the period from Aug. 1, 2007, through July 31, 2008.

The Almond Board of California will continue to administer the federal marketing order for almonds under the supervision of AMS.

The marketing order, which became effective in August 1950, establishes quality regulations and administers production research, promotion and market development projects that are funded through assessments on almond handlers.

Almond producers are provided an opportunity every five years to vote whether to continue the marketing order.

The Secretary of Agriculture considers termination of the marketing order if less than two-thirds of those voting, and producers of less than two-thirds of the volume represented in the referendum, favor continuance.

More information about this marketing order is available at www.ams.usda.gov/moab.