Why not volume control in a potato marketing order? - The Packer

Why not volume control in a potato marketing order?

05/13/2013 10:51:00 AM
Tom Karst

National Editor Tom Karst I am spending a day or two with my son in San Diego prior to the start of the United Fresh Produce Association. With a few hours to kick around today, I may be setting up camp in a coffee shop or perhaps riding the “Coaster” from Solana Beach to San Diego. Maybe I will find an upscale grocery retailer to visit in my travels and snap a few stealthy pics.

As I scan the headlines this morning, here is what I find of interest to the fruit and vegetable world.

The USDA cranberry marketing order may be preparing to again invoke volume control measures   to restore profitability to growers. A new proposal attempts to come up with an equitable way to compute sales history, taking into account the counterbalance of new acreage, in setting possible new grower allotments. The last time volume control was used in the cranberry marketing order was 2001-2002 season.

Considering the ongoing legal challenges to the United Potato Growers of America cooperative approach to market improvement, would it have been any “cleaner” to create a potato marketing order that could invoke volume control, rather than take the cooperative approach?

In news from the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group, find an interesting thread about whether a supplier has an ethical obligation to call foul if merchandise at the retail level is misbranded or worse.

What is the point of food aid? Is the point of it to facilitate purchases of U.S. agricultural goods to be delivered overseas to distressed people? Or is the point getting food aid to suffering people as efficiently and quickly as possible? Check out this opinion piece and you may see the wisdom in the latter approach.

Don’t look for that kind of total food aid reform in the farm bill. Here are documents that help clarify what is in the House and Senate versions:

House Farm bill summary 

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