USDA Fines Onion Handler for Marketing Order Violation

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2008 -- On March 4, 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Schiemer Farms, an onion handler, $1,500 in civil penalties for failure to pay assessments under Federal Marketing Order 958, “Onions Grown in Certain Designated Counties in Idaho and Malheur County, OR.” The handler failed to pay the assessments in a timely manner for five months during the 2007-2008 crop year.

Schiemer Farms failed to pay assessments on time from August-December 2007. On March 11, 2008, the handlers entered into a stipulated agreement with USDA and paid the $1,500 civil penalty. By doing so, Schiemer Farms forgoes any future right to have the matter heard in a court of law.

A marketing order is a legal instrument authorized by Congress through the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937. Orders are promulgated, at the request of industry representatives, through a formal rulemaking process conducted by USDA.

Fruit, vegetable and specialty crop marketing orders are administered by local committees and boards, composed of growers and/or handlers. Committees and boards collect assessments from handlers to cover operational and administrative costs.

Jimmie Turner (202) 720-6179
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998

Published on: 2008-04-24

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