Bill Text: CA AB2413 | 2013-2014 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: The Office of Farm to Fork.

Status: (Engrossed) 2014-06-24 - In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author. [AB2413 Detail]

Download: California-2013-AB2413-Introduced.html
BILL NUMBER: AB 2413	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member John A. Pérez

                        FEBRUARY 21, 2014

   An act to add Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 49000) to
Division 17 of the Food and Agricultural Code, relating to food and
agriculture, and making an appropriation therefor.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2413, as introduced, John A. Pérez. The Office of Farm to Fork.

   Existing law establishes the Department of Food and Agriculture,
which is tasked with, among other things, promoting and protecting
the agricultural industry of the state, and seeking to enhance,
protect, and perpetuate the ability of the private sector to produce
food and fiber in a way that benefits the general welfare and economy
of the state. Existing law also establishes the California Healthy
Food Financing Initiative for the purpose of promoting healthy food
access in the state.
   This bill would create the Office of Farm to Fork within the
department to, among other things, work with various entities,
including, among others, the agricultural industry and other
organizations involved in promoting food access, to increase the
amount of agricultural products available to underserved communities
and schools in the state. The bill would require the office to, among
other things, identify urban and rural communities that lack access
to healthy food, and to coordinate with local, state, and federal
agencies to promote and increase awareness of programs that promote
greater food access. The bill would create the Farm to Fork Account
in the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund that would consist of
money made available from federal, state, industry, and other
sources, and would continuously appropriate the money deposited in
the account without regard to fiscal years to carry out the purposes
of the Office of Farm to Fork. By creating a continuously
appropriated fund, the bill would make an appropriation.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Chapter 12 (commencing with Section 49000) is added to
Division 17 of the Food and Agricultural Code, to read:
      CHAPTER 12.  OFFICE OF FARM TO FORK


   49000.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (a) There are many Californians who lack adequate access to
healthy food.
   (b) The lack of access to healthy food falls disproportionately on
disadvantaged urban and rural communities.
   (c) These same communities also suffer from an increased rate of
obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions related to
poor diet.
   (d) Facilitating access to healthy food in these communities is
needed to address the gaps in the food distribution system and help
mitigate the health consequences of this inadequacy.
   (e) There are many county, state, federal, and private
organizations attempting to address this issue, but there is no
state-level body charged with coordinating these activities.
   (f) A state-level office, charged with coordinating and
facilitating food access, can increase the effectiveness of ongoing
programs and ensure that efforts and funding are not duplicated.
   (g) The Department of Food and Agriculture is uniquely situated to
administer this office because of the department's knowledge of the
agricultural industry, and its ability to bring farmers together with
hunger relief organizations, partner agencies, schools, colleges,
community organizations, and others to increase the availability of
healthy food.
   49001.  There is hereby created in the department the Office of
Farm to Fork. This office shall work with the agricultural industry,
direct marketing organizations, food policy councils, public health
groups, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, academic
institutions, district agricultural associations, county, state, and
federal agencies, and other organizations involved in promoting food
access to increase the amount of agricultural products available to
underserved communities and schools in this state. The office, under
the auspices of the department, shall do all of the following:
   (a) Work with regional and statewide stakeholders to identify
urban and rural communities that lack access to healthy food,
determine current barriers to food access, and share information to
encourage best practices.
   (b) Coordinate with other local, state, and federal agencies to
promote and increase awareness of programs that promote greater food
access.
   (c) Promote greater retail sale of healthy food in underserved
communities, including promoting the acceptance of California Special
Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants, and Children
(WIC) and CalFresh benefits at certified farmers' markets,
encouraging the development and sustainability of local policies that
support urban agriculture, increasing the number and quality of food
retail outlets in inner city and rural communities, and maximizing
resources in the interest of increasing food access.
   (d) Foster partnerships between community partners, including
farmers, businesses, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.
   (e) Identify distribution barriers that affect limited food
access, including, but not limited to, shortage of food retail
outlets, limited store capacity, high distribution costs, and lack of
capital funding opportunities, and work to overcome those barriers
through the following:
   (1) Encouraging food hubs or other aggregation systems.
   (2) Coordinating institutional food procurement and buying
practices.
   (3) Increasing access to information, technical assistance, and
resources, including developing opportunities through the California
Healthy Food Financing Initiative (Article 3 (commencing with Section
104660) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 103 of the Health and
Safety Code) in the office of the Treasurer.
   (f) Identify opportunities and provide technical assistance for
collaboration between farmers, regional and local food banks, partner
agencies, and nonprofit charitable organizations in the gleaning,
collection, and distribution of agricultural products for the
purposes of reducing hunger and increasing access to healthy foods.
   (g) Identify informational resources and organizations to provide
technical assistance on small scale and backyard farming, community
gardens, and other agricultural products for residents of underserved
communities.
   (h) Identify opportunities for collaboration with community
organizations, social services, and partner agencies to provide
cooking and nutrition education classes to residents of underserved
communities.
   (i) Coordinate with school districts and representatives to do the
following:
   (1) Provide tools to facilitate relationships between local
producers and school food procurement personnel, and encourage
opportunities to incorporate best purchasing practices such as Good
Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification and insurance.
   (2) Increase the nutritional profile of foods provided in schools.

   (3) Increase access to nutrition education programs and
information in schools.
   49002.  (a) There is hereby created the Farm to Fork Account in
the Department of Food and Agriculture Fund that shall consist of
money made available from federal, state, industry, philanthropic,
and private sources.
   (b) Notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, all
money deposited in the Farm to Fork Account is hereby continuously
appropriated to the department without regard to fiscal years to
carry out the purposes of this chapter.                    
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