WSDA Hearings. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is holding hearings on the removal of the mandatory certification. Jim Quigley with WSDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Inspection Program talks about the hearings going on today and tomorrow.
QUIGLEY: What it will do is gather testimony either pro or con on the change of the rule to remove the mandatory certification to which the industry will then fall back under the quality control program
Quigley want to make it clear:
QUIGLEY: What I don’t want to give out there is the misnomer is gee, inspections are going away totally and these varieties of apples can just fly freely into the fresh market. There is still inspections required on these varieties. It will really just go back to the way it was in the late 90’s under the quality control program. It will not negate any of the firmness requirements which is the 12 pound pressure on the Red Delicious varieties.
The process will take a bit of time but the hope is to have everything done well before the 09 apple season.
QUIGLEY: When the hearing are complete what we’ll end up doing is a hearing officer will compile a hearing office report, it’ll be submitted to the director for assessment on his part and he’ll make a decision which way to go on it. Basically it will go into effect 31 days after it’s filed with the code reviser so right now we could be looking at a target date somewhere around June 1st.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.