CDFA announced this week that the PD/GWSS Referendum has passed with 83.44 percent of California’s winegrape growers voting in favor of continuing the assessment for another five years.
“California’s winegrape growers have again voted overwhelmingly in support of continuing the assessment and the program that it supports,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “Over the last 15 years the winegrape assessment has proven its value to the PD/GWSS Board, which is directed by both independent growers and vintners who grow a significant percentage of California’s grapes. Along the way, it has also become a model for other successful government/industry partnerships.”
Just over 55 percent of California’s winegrape growers voting in the referendum, with 40 percent needed to validate the referendum. In order to pass, either (a), at least 65 percent of those voting had to vote yes to continue the assessment, and they had to have paid the majority of the assessment paid by all those who voted in the preceding marketing season; or (b), the majority of those voting had to vote yes to continue the assessment, and they had to have paid at least 65 percent of the assessment paid in the preceding marketing season by all those who voted. The referendum met both of these thresholds.
“The PD/GWSS Board is now set to chart the course for the next five years,” said PD/GWSS Board Chair Bill Hammond. “I’m fortunate to be working with such a dedicated team that has made this program the centerpiece of success for pest and disease management that not only includes PD/GWSS but also other threats to California winegrapes, such as the brown marmorated stink bug, European grapevine moth, red blotch, and vine mealybug.”
With passage of the referendum, the winegrape assessment will remain in place for another five years, with winegrape growers being given the opportunity to vote on it again in 2020.