What Are Marketing Programs

The purpose of marketing programs is to provide agricultural producers and handlers an organizational structure, operating under government sanction, which allows them to solve production and marketing problems collectively that they could not address individually. Current marketing programs’ activities include commodity promotion, research, and maintenance of quality standards. Some of the programs carry out all three authorized activities while others carry out only one or two, depending on the needs of each respective industry. None involve volume control and cooperative price establishment (which is specifically prohibited by law). These organizations provide a structure for solving problems and also provide a vehicle for collecting funds to support activities.

The programs are authorized under the California Marketing Act of 1937 and individual sections of statute in the Food and Agricultural Code. State law requires that the California Department of Food and Agriculture oversee all State marketing programs. Each marketing program is governed by a board made up of industry members. Some boards also have public members.

Marketing programs are industry initiated and usually do not go into effect without approval by an industry vote. Since all industry members stand to gain from a marketing program’s activities, all affected producers and/or handlers of each commodity are required to abide by the marketing program’s statutory provisions and share the cost of funding the program’s activities.