Harrisburg, PA – The commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture announced today that state apple growers voted in favor of a new Pennsylvania Apple Program to replace the existing Pennsylvania Apple Marketing Program (PAMP), which is set to expire on May 26. Apple growers voted last fall to discontinue that program in its current form.
Sixty-eight percent of eligible growers, representing 78 percent of apple production, voted “yes” for the new program. Growers with 500 or more apple trees were eligible to vote in the referendum, which was held April 3 through April 18. The new program will become effective May 27, 2017.
“We are pleased with this ‘yes’ vote to create the new Pennsylvania Apple Program,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Pennsylvania’s apple industry is ranked fourth in the nation and is a strong contributor to the state’s agriculture economy. We look forward to working with the Commonwealth’s apple growers in charting the future of this industry.”
Under the new program, growers will be assessed $0.05 per bushel for fresh apples and $0.01 per bushel for processed apples, generating an annual budget estimated to be between $200,000 and $250,000. The use of these resources will be limited to funding membership in the U.S. Apple Association, research, consumer education, and necessary administrative costs to support these activities. Unlike the current PAMP, the new program does not provide funding for marketing activities.
The PAMP board will meet at least one more time to conclude its business prior to the expiration of the current program. The new Pennsylvania Apple Program will be led by a board of seven members, including the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture or an appointed designee. Any growers interested in serving on the board or nominating a grower are encouraged to contact Jen D’Angelo at the state Department of Agriculture at [email protected] or 717-783-9948
“We thank Pennsylvania’s apple growers for voting in favor of this new program,” said Ed Weaver, chair of the PAMP board. “This will allow us to continue funding research programs vital to the long-term growth of our industry and to maintain membership in the U.S. Apple Association, which provides legislative and communications support for the nation’s apple growers.”
Growers with questions about the new Pennsylvania Apple Program are asked to contact Laura England, director of the Bureau of Market Development, at [email protected] or 717-783-8462.