Michigan’s apple producers approved a referendum to continue the Michigan Apple Advertising and Promotion Program, also known as the Michigan Apple Committee, for another five years, according to a news release from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Established in 1968, the Michigan Apple Committee (MAC) is a grower-funded, nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities for the Michigan apple industry. Producers voted to continue MAC for an additional five years beginning Sept. 1 and ending Aug. 31, 2028.
A total of 92 valid ballots were cast. Each producer voted on two questions: whether or not to continue MAC for an additional five years, and whether or not to approve proposed changes to the program. Eighty producers (87 percent) voted for MAC to continue, representing 42.6 million hundredweight (70 percent) of apples. Eighty-four producers (91 percent) approved the proposed changes, representing 42.8 million hundredweight (70 percent) of production.
“The proposed changes included grammatical updates and adding the words ‘up to’ before the assessment rates, allowing the MAC board flexibility to lower assessments if necessary,” MAC Executive Director Diane Smith said in the release.
To renew the program, more than 50 percent of the voting producers, representing more than 50 percent of the production of those voting, must approve.
MAC’s current assessment rates are 52 cents per hundredweight of fresh apples, 28 cents for processing apples, and 12 cents for juice apples. Included in the assessments are 4 cents per hundredweight for research and up to 3 cents for promotion of U.S. apples with the U.S. Apple Association, according to the release.
—by Matt Milkovich