Washington State sweet cherry growers voted to continue the federal marketing order that regulates sweet cherries. During the referendum held in November, 92 percent of eligible growers who voted, representing 82 percent of the participating volume, favored continuing the marketing order that was established in 1957. A referendum is required every six years and needs a yes vote of two-thirds of the growers or growers who produce two-thirds of the volume of sweet cherries represented in the referendum in order to pass.
In announcing the results in mid-January, Robert Keeney, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said in a news release, “The industry’s favorable vote shows that they find value in the marketing order and the opportunities it provides in expanding the sweet cherry market and helping local growers thrive.”
The marketing order authorizes minimum grade, size, maturity, pack, and container regulations as well as mandatory inspection requirements for cherries grown in designated counties.