U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released draft regulations that seek to modify the current handling regulations prescribed under the federal marketing order for kiwifruit grown in California.
This action would revise the size and uniformity requirements for all varieties of Actinidia chinensis species of kiwifruit regulated under the marketing order.
A corresponding change would be made to the kiwifruit import regulation under the Section 608e of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937.
This proposed rule would relax the minimum size requirement for all varieties of Actinidia chinensis species of kiwifruit to Size 49, defined in the requirements as a maximum of 64 pieces of fruit in an 8-pound sample.
In addition, the proposed rule would exempt all varieties of Actinidia chinensis species kiwifruit from the current requirement that fruit packed in a container be fairly uniform in size.
According to the previous rule, kiwifruits were required to be at least a minimum size of 45. 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 at the time of inspection.
Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help fruit, vegetable and specialty crop producers and handlers achieve marketing success by leveraging their own funds to design and execute programs that they would not be able to do individually.
The marketing order authorizes quality regulations, research and promotion programs, as well as markings, pack, and container regulations for California kiwifruit. The order became effective in 1984 and was last amended under formal rulemaking on June 29, 2010.
It requires that most Kiwifruit containers be lot stamped. Waivers of inspection and certification may be granted under certain pre-arranged situations.
The proposed rule was published on June 17, 2022 in the Federal Register and provides a 60-day public comment period. Comments are due by August 16, 2022.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), an agency of the USDA provides oversight to 28 fruit, vegetable and specialty crop marketing orders and agreements, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.
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