The Marketing Agreement is completely voluntary and open to farms and markets of all sizes. It provides this flexibility through a “Three-Tier” approach, which is designed to allow a number of objectives to be met at all levels. With this method it is important to understand the standards do not change at each level, they are only implemented given the risk presented.
The research regarding this multi-tier approach has been conducted under the USDA program, NIFSI. Doctors Le Jejune and Doohan (peer reviewed and published) confirmed a tiered approach requirement.