AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY
MARKETING AND GRADING OF CERTAIN COMMODITIES
434:34 Powers and Duties of the Commissioner.
I. The commissioner shall, after due notice and hearing, approve marketing agreements, which shall thereupon only be binding upon the signatories thereto.
II. The commissioner may make and issue marketing orders, after due notice and opportunity for hearing, subject to the provisions of paragraph III.
III. No marketing order under this subdivision shall take effect unless and until the producers, through a referendum conducted by the commissioner, indicate its adoption is favored by:
(a) Not less than 662/3 percent of the producers participating in the referendum; or
(b) Not less than 65 percent of the producers who have marketed more than 50 percent of the total quantity of the apples which were marketed in the next preceding marketing season by all producers that voted in the referendum; or
(c) More than 50 percent of the producers who have marketed not less than 65 percent of the total quantity of the apples in the next preceding marketing season by all producers that voted in the referendum.
IV. The commissioner, upon written petition duly signed by 25 percent of the producers in the state, shall amend or terminate such order after due notice and opportunity for hearing, but subject to the approval of not less than 50 percent of such producers participating in a referendum vote.
V. The commissioner shall administer and enforce any marketing order while the order is in effect, to:
(a) Encourage and maintain stable prices received by producers for apples at a level which is consistent with the provisions and aims of this subdivision.
(b) Prevent the unreasonable or unnecessary waste of agricultural wealth.
(c) Protect the interests of consumers of apples, to such extent as is deemed to be necessary under the provisions of this subdivision.
(d) Prepare a budget for the administration and operating costs and expenses, including advertising and sales promotion when required in any marketing agreement or order executed hereunder, and to provide for the collection of such necessary fees to defray such costs and expenses, in no case to exceed 5 percent of the gross dollar volume of sales or dollar volume of purchases or amounts handled, to be collected from each person engaged in the production, processing, distributing or the handling of apples produced in this state and directly affected by any marketing order issued pursuant to this subdivision for apples.
(e) Cooperate with the legally constituted authorities responsible for apple production, distribution and sales in the other states and the federal government.
VI. Any marketing agreement or order issued by the commissioner pursuant to this subdivision may contain any or all of the following:
(a) Establishment of uniform grading, standards and inspection of apples.
(b) Establishment of research programs designed to benefit apples or New Hampshire agriculture in general.
(c) Provisions for the establishment of an adequate system for estimating total season crop and future potential crops.
(d) Provisions for determining the growing, handling and marketing conditions of apples.
(e) Provisions for contracting with appropriate parties for promotion, paid advertising and other publicity for apples.
(f) Such rules adopted in accordance with RSA 541-A that may be necessary to effect a marketing agreement or order.
(g) The penalties to be imposed for failure to comply with a marketing agreement or order.
VII. The commissioner may temporarily suspend the operation of an effective marketing order for a continuing period of not longer than one growing and marketing season if the purposes of this subdivision are deemed unnecessary during such season.
VIII. The commissioner shall take into consideration in determining whether or not to issue a marketing agreement or marketing order the following economic factors:
(a) The quantity of apples available for distribution.
(b) The quantity of apples normally required by consumers.
(c) The cost of producing apples.
(d) The purchasing power of consumers.
(e) The level of prices of commodities, services and articles which the farmers commonly buy.
(f) The level of prices of other commodities which compete with or are utilized as substitutes for apples.
Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.