7 CFR 955.50 - Research and development.
(a) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of production research, marketing research and development and marketing promotion projects, including paid advertising, designed to assist, improve, or promote the marketing, distribution, consumption, or efficient production of Vidalia onions. Any such project for the promotion and advertising of Vidalia onions may utilize an identifying mark which shall be made available for use by all handlers in accordance with such terms and conditions as the committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may prescribe. The expense of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to § 955.42 or § 955.45.
(b) In recommending projects pursuant to this section, the committee shall give consideration to the following:
(1) The expected supply of Vidalia onions in relation to market requirements;
(2) The supply situation among competing areas and commodities;
(3) The anticipated benefits from such projects in relation to their costs;
(4) The need for marketing research with respect to any market development activity; and
(5) Other relevant factors.
(c) If the committee should conclude that a program of research and development should be undertaken, or continued, in any fiscal period, it shall submit the following for the approval of the Secretary;
(1) Its recommendations as to the funds to be obtained pursuant to § 955.42 or § 955.45;
(2) Its recommendation as to any research projects; and
(3) Its recommendations as to promotion activity and paid advertising.
(d) Upon conclusion of each activity, but at least annually, the committee shall summarize and report the results of such activity to the Secretary.
(e) All marketing promotion activity engaged in by the committee, including paid advertising, shall be subject to the following terms and conditions:
(1) No marketing promotion, including paid advertising, shall refer to any private brand, private trademark or private trade name;
(2) No promotion or advertising shall disparage the quality, use, value or sale of like or any other agricultural commodity or product, and no false or unwarranted claims shall be made in connection with the product; and
(3) No promotion or advertising shall be undertaken without reason to believe that returns to producers will be improved by such activity.