USDA Suspends Federal Marketing Order Regulating California Dried Prunes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that producers of dried prunes grown in California voted for suspension of the federal marketing order regulating the handling of dried prunes grown in California. The suspension went into effect Aug. 1, 2023, and extends through July 31, 2030. 

After operating for 18 years without handling regulations, the Prune Administrative Committee recommended that USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) suspend their marketing order. This recommendation was supported unanimously during the committee’s public meeting that was held on March 22, 2023.

After reviewing the committee’s recommendation, AMS determined that regulatory suspension with a sunset provision of seven years is appropriate. This seven-year timeframe extends through the end of the 2029-2030 crop year and provides industry sufficient time to assess whether the marketing order’s reinstatement is beneficial. If no recommendation is made by the committee to reinstate the program by the end of the 2029-2030 crop year, AMS will proceed to terminate the marketing order and committee operations. 

The final rule for the suspension was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 23, 2024.

More information about the marketing order is available on the 993 California Dried Prunes webpage on AMS’s website. Information about federal marketing orders is available on AMS’s Marketing Orders and Agreements webpage or by contacting the Market Development Division at (202) 720-8085.

Authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, marketing orders are industry-driven programs that help 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. AMS provides oversight to fruit vegetable and specialty crops marketing orders to ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.