[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 79 (Wednesday, April 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24036-24037]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09722]



[[Page 24036]]

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 927

[Doc. No. AMS-FV-12-0032; FV12-927-3 FR]


Pears Grown in Oregon and Washington; Committee Membership 
Reapportionment for Processed Pears

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule reapportions the membership of the Processed Pear 
Committee (Committee) established under the Oregon-Washington pear 
marketing order. The marketing order regulates the handling of 
processed pears grown in Oregon and Washington, and is administered 
locally by the Committee. This rule reapportions the processor 
membership such that the three processor members and alternate members 
will be selected from the production area at-large rather than from a 
specific district. In an industry with few processors, this change will 
provide the flexibility needed to help ensure that all processor member 
positions are filled, resulting in effective representation of the 
processed pear industry on the Committee.

DATES: Effective July 1, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Teresa Hutchinson or Gary Olson, 
Northwest Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-
2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or E-Mail: Teresa.Hutchinson@ams.usda.gov or 
GaryD.Olson@ams.usda.gov.
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Jeffrey Smutny, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Fruit and Vegetable Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence 
Avenue SW., STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-
2491, Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: Jeffrey.Smutny@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This final rule is issued under Marketing 
Order No. 927, as amended (7 CFR part 927), regulating the handling of 
pears grown in Oregon and Washington, hereinafter referred to as the 
``order.'' The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing 
Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter 
referred to as the ``Act.''
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in 
conformance with Executive Order 12866.
    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive 
effect.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition 
stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A 
handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. 
After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides 
that the district court of the United States in any district in which 
the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of 
business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, 
provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of 
the entry of the ruling.
    This final rule reapportions the membership of the Committee 
established under the Oregon-Washington pear marketing order. This rule 
reapportions the processor membership such that the three processor 
members and alternate members will be selected from the production area 
at-large rather than from a specific district. With nine out of ten 
members present (the District 2 processor position is vacant), the 
Committee unanimously recommended this change at a meeting held on May 
30, 2012, with a request that the change be made effective by July 1, 
2013.
    Section 927.20(b) establishes the Processed Pear Committee 
consisting of ten members. Three members are growers, three members are 
handlers, three members are processors, and one member represents the 
public. For each member, there are two alternate members, designated as 
the ``first alternate'' and the ``second alternate,'' respectively. 
Committee membership is apportioned among two districts. Section 
927.11(b) defines District 1 as the State of Washington and District 2 
as the State of Oregon. Prior to this action, District 1 was 
represented by two grower members, two handler members, and two 
processor members. District 2 was represented by one grower member, one 
handler member, and one processor member.
    The order provides in Sec.  927.20(c) that USDA, upon 
recommendation of the Committee, may reapportion members among 
districts, may change the number of members and alternate members, and 
may change the composition by changing the ratio of members, including 
their alternate members.
    This rule adds a new Sec.  927.150 to the order's administrative 
rules and regulations reapportioning the processor membership such that 
the three processor members and alternate members will be selected from 
the production area at-large rather than from a specific district. The 
Committee recommended this change because there are no longer any pear 
processors in District 2, and the District 2 processor member and 
alternate member positions on the Committee are currently vacant. This 
change results in more effective representation of the processed pear 
industry by allowing the Committee to fill these vacant positions with 
processors from District 1.
    Reapportioning the processor membership will allow all processor 
member and alternate member positions to be filled. The Committee 
recommended maintaining the three processor member positions, but 
specified that such members and alternate members may be located in 
either district. The regulatory language includes flexibility that 
provides opportunity for representation from District 2 should a 
processor once again process pears in that district.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) 
has considered the economic impact of this action on small entities. 
Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility 
analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that 
they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf. Thus, both statutes have small 
entity orientation and compatibility.
    There are approximately 1,500 producers of processed pears in the 
regulated production area and approximately 46 handlers of processed 
pears subject to regulation under the order. Small agricultural 
producers are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) (13 
CFR 121.201) as those having annual receipts of less than $750,000, and 
small agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual 
receipts are less than $7,000,000.

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    According to the Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts 2011 Preliminary Summary 
issued in March 2012 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 
the total farm-gate value of summer/fall processed pears grown in 
Oregon and Washington for 2011 was $35,315,000. Based on the number of 
processed pear producers in Oregon and Washington, the average gross 
revenue for each producer can be estimated at approximately $23,543. 
Furthermore, based on Committee records, the Committee has estimated 
that all of the Oregon-Washington pear handlers currently ship less 
than $7,000,000 worth of processed pears each on an annual basis. From 
this information, it is concluded that the majority of producers and 
handlers of Oregon and Washington processed pears may be classified as 
small entities.
    There are three pear processing plants in the production area, all 
currently located in Washington. All three pear processors would be 
considered large entities under the SBA's definition of small 
businesses.
    This rule adds a new Sec.  927.150 to the order's administrative 
rules and regulations reapportioning the processor membership such that 
the three processor members will be selected from the production area 
at-large. This rule will be effective July 1, 2013. Authority for 
reapportioning the Committee is provided in Sec.  927.20(c) of the 
order.
    The Committee believes that this action will not negatively impact 
producers, handlers, or processors in terms of cost. The benefits for 
this rule are not expected to be disproportionately greater or less for 
small producers, handlers, or processors than for larger entities.
    The Committee discussed alternatives to this rule, including 
leaving the District 2 processor member and alternate member positions 
vacant. However, the Committee believes that three members should 
continue to represent processors on the Committee, except the 
representative should be chosen from the production area at-large 
rather than from a specific district.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. 
chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
assigned OMB No. 0581-0189, Generic Fruit Crops. No changes in those 
requirements as a result of this action are necessary. Should any 
changes become necessary, they will be submitted to OMB for approval.
    Additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements will not be 
imposed on either small or large processed pear handlers. As with all 
Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are periodically 
reviewed to reduce information requirements and duplication by industry 
and public sector agencies.
    As noted in the initial regulatory flexibility analysis, USDA has 
not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap or 
conflict with this final rule.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.
    In addition, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized 
throughout the Oregon-Washington pear industry and all interested 
persons were invited to attend and participate in Committee 
deliberations on all issues. Like all Committee meetings, the May 30, 
2012, meeting was a public meeting and all entities, both large and 
small, were able to express views on this issue.
    A proposed rule concerning this action was published in the Federal 
Register on December 5, 2012 (77 FR 72245). The Committee made copies 
of the proposed rule available to the processed pear industry. Finally, 
the rule was made available through the Internet by USDA and the Office 
of the Federal Register. A 60-day comment period ending February 4, 
2013, was provided to allow interested persons to respond to the 
proposal. No comments were received.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: 
www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrderSmallBusinessGuide. Any questions about 
the compliance guide should be sent to Jeffrey Smutny at the previously 
mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
    After consideration of all relevant matter presented, including the 
information and recommendation submitted by the Committee and other 
available information, it is hereby found that this rule, as 
hereinafter set forth, will tend to effectuate the declared policy of 
the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 927

    Marketing agreements, Pears, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR part 927 is 
amended as follows:

PART 927--PEARS GROWN IN OREGON AND WASHINGTON

0
1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 927 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601-674.


0
2. An undesignated center heading and Sec.  927.150 are added to read 
as follows:

Administrative Bodies


Sec.  927.150  Reapportionment of the Processed Pear Committee.

    Pursuant to Sec.  927.20(c), on and after July 1, 2013, the 10-
member Processed Pear Committee is reapportioned and shall consist of 
three grower members, three handler members, three processor members, 
and one member representing the public. For each member, there are two 
alternate members, designated as the ``first alternate'' and the 
``second alternate,'' respectively. District 1, the State of 
Washington, shall be represented by two grower members and two handler 
members. District 2, the State of Oregon, shall be represented by one 
grower member and one handler member. Processor members may be from 
District 1, District 2, or from both districts.

    Dated: April 18, 2013.
David R. Shipman,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-09722 Filed 4-23-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P