WASHINGTON APPLE COMMISSION
(Category FRUITS AND VEGETABLES)
EN The Washington State Apple Advertising Commission was created by an act of the Washington State Legislature in 1937 at the request of the apple industry, making it one of the oldest and largest commodity commissions in the United States. Under statutory authority, the Commission collects a mandatory assessment levied against all fresh apple shipments. No revenues are received from apples diverted to apple processors for juice, sauce, etc. The assessment rate is established by a referendum of commercial apple growers in the state, and remains at the same level yearly until changed by growers. Since 1937, growers have increased the assessment 13 times from its original 1 cent per box to as high as 40 cents per 42-lb box. Then in 2003 a lawsuit restructured the Commission and at this time the assessment is 3.5 cents per box. The Commission has a 14-member board of directors, nine of whom are elected by the apple growers in specified districts and four of whom are elected by the apple shippers and marketers in specified districts. One is the Director of Agriculture. Each Commissioner is elected for a three-year term. The Commission is considered a governmental agency since it is state-mandated, yet is governed and totally funded by growers under the supervision of the Director of Agriculture who approves the budget and sits on the Board of Directors. Currently no promotions are being implemented in the US, but are implemented in more than 30 countries overseas where Washington apples are sold.