Chandler bill to assist pear industry signed into law

A measure that would give pear farmers the ability to get full value for their crops was signed into law by the governor on Friday, March 27.

Rep. Bruce Chandler says House Bill 2524 puts pears in a similar position as other agricultural products in Washington state.

“This legislation adds pears to the definition of 'agriculture products' under the state Agricultural Marketing and Fair Practices Act and will allow pear prices to be negotiated between growers and processors,” said Chandler, R-Granger. “With this bill now signed into law, pear farmers will have the ability to get full value for their crops. Most pear producers in Washington are smaller producers, and the number of processors in the state have decreased, fundamentally changing the competition to get fruit processed.”

Under the legislation, agricultural product handlers will be required to meet with a mutually agreed upon third-party mediator to resolve price disputes. Producers will also be responsible for paying any fees associated with a third-party mediation.

The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously. It goes into effect on June 10, 2020.

Chandler did not attend the bill signing because of the COVID-19 crisis. Inslee is signing all bills sent to him by the Legislature in isolation, with no public ceremonies. The bill signings are being broadcast on TVW.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov