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AB-38 The Office of Farm to Fork.(2013-2014)

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AB38:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2013

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 38


Introduced by Assembly Member John A. Pérez

December 03, 2012


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


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 38, as amended, John A. Pérez. The California Food, Farms, and Jobs Act. 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, enhancing, protecting, and perpetuating 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 express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would establish the California Food, Farms, and Jobs Act, for the purpose of improving state programs that support local and regional farm and food system infrastructure, expanding access to healthy foods for consumers, and creating new job growth and economic development through increasing the number of direct and retail markets. 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 schools and underserved communities in the state. 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: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   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 people in California who lack adequate access to healthy food.
(b) The lack of access to healthy food falls disproportionately on disadvantaged 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 house this office because of the department’s knowledge of the agricultural industry, and its ability to bring farmers together with schools, 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, schools, 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 schools and underserved communities in this state.

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, and other 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.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature that would enact legislation to establish the California Food, Farms, and Jobs Act, which would improve state programs that support local and regional farm and food system infrastructure, expand access to healthy foods for consumers, and create new job growth and economic development through increasing the number of direct and retail markets.