Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Act
The Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Board was abolished and the legislative authority transferred to the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD), effective July 15, 2007.
The Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Board oversaw the negotiation of prices for processing fruits and vegetables. The Board was given this authority by the Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Act, P.A. 344, of 1972. That authority has been transferred to MDARD.
The Act establishes a requirement on the part of handlers and associations to negotiate prices and other terms of sale of the commodity each year, and provides for binding arbitration between those parties if negotiations are not successful. MDARD staff will oversee the arbitration procedure.
The Act also defines unfair practices and prescribes penalties. MDARD staff receives sworn complaints with respect to violations, investigates those complaints and presents information to the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development for review. The Director, if he/she has probable cause to believe an unfair practice was committed, conducts a hearing under the provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act. The Director accepts, rejects or amends the hearing officer's opinion and orders remedies for the violation as appropriate.
Currently, only apples and asparagus are part of this program.
For more information, please contact Jeff Haarer at 517-284-5642.