1. Agriculture World

USDA Modifies Handling Regulations for California-Grown Kiwifruit

Marketing orders are industry-driven programmes authorised by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 that assist fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop producers and handlers in achieving marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programmes that they would not be able to do individually.

Shivam Dwivedi
Section 608e of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937 would be amended to make a corresponding change to the kiwifruit import regulation.
Section 608e of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937 would be amended to make a corresponding change to the kiwifruit import regulation.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued draft regulations that seek to modify the current handling regulations prescribed under the federal marketing order for California-grown kiwifruit. This action would revise the size and uniformity requirements for all Actinidia chinensis species kiwifruit varieties regulated under the marketing order.

Section 608e of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937 would be amended to make a corresponding change to the kiwifruit import regulation. This proposed rule would reduce the minimum size requirement for all Actinidia chinensis species kiwifruit varieties to Size 49, which is defined in the requirements as a maximum of 64 pieces of fruit in an 8-pound sample.

Furthermore, the proposed rule would exempt all Actinidia chinensis species kiwifruit varieties from the current requirement that fruit packed in a container be reasonably uniform in size.

The previous rule stated that kiwifruits had to be at least 45 cm in diameter. At the time of inspection, size 45 is defined as a maximum of 55 pieces of fruit in an 8-pound sample with a minimum of 6.2 percent soluble solids.

Marketing orders are industry-driven programmes authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 that assist fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop producers and handlers in achieving marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programmes that they would not be able to do individually.

The marketing order authorizes California kiwifruit quality regulations, research and promotion programmes, as well as markings, pack, and container regulations. The order went into effect in 1984 and was last modified through formal rulemaking on June 29, 2010.

The majority of Kiwifruit containers must be lot stamped. Inspection and certification waivers may be granted in certain pre-arranged situations.

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on June 17, 2022, with a 60-day public comment period. Comments must be submitted by August 16, 2022. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), a USDA agency, oversees 28 fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, ensuring fiscal accountability and programme integrity.

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