BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
                          Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           AB 862          Hearing Date: 7/7/15
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          |Author:    |Committee on Agriculture                             |
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          |Version:   |6/25/15                                              |
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          |Urgency:   |No                    |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Anne Megaro                                          |
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                                Subject:  Agriculture

           SUMMARY  :
          This bill would make clarifying and substantive changes to the  
          Food and Agricultural Code in regards to citrus pest and disease  
          prevention expenditure reimbursements and would add "cultivated  
          mushrooms" and "herbs" to the list of products that cannot be  
          sold in areas in proximity to a certified farmers' market.  This  
          bill makes technical changes.

           BACKGROUND AND EXISTING  
          LAW  :
          The California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee  
          (CCPDPC) within the California Department of Food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA) was created to advise the secretary on  
          efforts to prevent and manage citrus pests and diseases.  An  
          assessment is levied on citrus producers and deposited into the  
          Citrus Disease Management Account for the sole purpose of  
          combating citrus-specific pests and diseases.  This account may  
          also contain funds from federal and other non-General Fund  
          sources.  The current assessment rate is 8 cents per 40 pound  
          carton, which amounts to $16 million annually and represents 64%  
          of the total budget for this program (Food and Agricultural Code  
          §5911 et seq.).

          Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) is an invasive pest that feeds on  
          citrus plants' leaves and stems and causes shoot deformation and  
          plant stunting.  More importantly, ACP may transmit  
          Huanglongbing (HLB), a bacterial plant disease that causes  
          citrus trees to produce unpalatable/inedible fruit before  
          ultimately killing the tree.  







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          CDFA is responsible for administering and regulating the direct  
          sale of agricultural products to consumers to ensure product  
          quality and to prevent fraud, deception, or misrepresentation in  
          the marketplace.  One form of direct marketing regulated by CDFA  
          is certified farmers' markets (CFM).  Currently, there are  
          nearly 800 CFMs in California and 3,350 certified farmers  
          selling directly to consumers.  At the local level, county  
          agricultural commissioners are responsible for issuing producer  
          and operator certificates and conducting on-site inspections to  
          verify that all agricultural products sold at the CFM are grown  
          by the producer (Food and Agricultural Code §47000 et seq.).
          The Certified Farmers' Market Advisory Committee, composed of 17  
          members appointed by the secretary of CDFA, was created to make  
          recommendations to the secretary on all matters pertaining to  
          direct marketing, including administration, enforcement,  
          inspections, fees, civil penalties, and an annual budget (Food  
          and Agricultural Code §47011).

          Current law:

             1)   Authorizes CCPDPC to develop, under the approval of the  
               secretary, a statewide citrus-specific pest and disease  
               work plan and recommend an annual assessment rate and  
               budget.  The CCPDPC shall reimburse the secretary for all  
               reasonable expenditures incurred in carrying out,  
               implementing, and administering the statewide work plan. 

             2)   Authorizes CDFA to adopt regulations to encourage the  
               sale of California agricultural products directly from  
               farmer to consumer, and to ensure that sales activities are  
               free from fraud, deception, or misrepresentation.

             3)   Requires a CFM operator to annually register with CDFA  
               by applying for and obtaining a certificate from the county  
               agricultural commissioner. 

             4)   Requires all vendors to pay a stall fee not greater than  
               $2.00 per marketing day, with exceptions.  Fees are  
               collected by the CFM operator and deposited into the  
               Department of Food and Agriculture Fund to be used to cover  
               the reasonable costs to carry out CFM administration,  
               inspection, and enforcement (Food and Agricultural Code  
               §47021).








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             5)   Requires CFM vendors to post a conspicuous sign at the  
               point of sale that states the name and county location of  
               the vendor's farm/ranch and the statement "We Grow What We  
               Sell" or such similar statement.

             6)   Prohibits CFM operators who operate other  
               non-agricultural marketing events in close proximity to a  
               CFM from allowing the sale of fresh whole fruits, nuts,  
               vegetables, and flowers outside of the CFM area. 

           PROPOSED  
          LAW  :

          This bill:

             1)   Makes technical amendments to the Food and Agricultural  
               Code such as correcting the name of the state Department of  
               Public Health, providing the correct name for county  
               agricultural commissioners and county sealers of weights  
               and measures, and clarifying that any division, office, or  
               other entity within CDFA, rather than any agency within  
               CDFA, may issue or renew licenses, registrations, or other  
               indicia of authority issued by the department.

             2)   Allows the secretary of CDFA to collect all, rather than  
               only reasonable, expenditures for costs relating to citrus  
               pest and disease prevention.

             3)   Adds "cultivated mushrooms" and "herbs" to the list of  
               products that cannot be sold in areas in proximity to a  
               certified farmers' market.

             4)   Makes technical amendments.

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:
           According to the author, "This is the Assembly Committee on  
          Agriculture's Omnibus bill to make corrections and provide  
          clarifications to the codes on agricultural matters.  The  
          provisions of this measure are non-controversial, have no  
          opposition, and have been vented with the appropriate agencies  
          and industry groups."

           COMMENTS  :








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          Citrus.  Last year's SB 1018 (De León), which was signed into  
          law, specifies that only reasonable, rather than all,  
          expenditures incurred by CDFA be reimbursed from the Citrus  
          Disease Management Account for responsibilities related to the  
          Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program.  This bill also  
          requires the secretary to first notify the CCPDPC of any changes  
          to program activities or increases in expenditures.  

          SB 1018 addressed citrus industry concerns that CCPDPC was not  
          notified before budgetary spending authority was increased or  
          when additional funds were requested by CDFA to cover costs  
          related to this program.  The current bill would retain  
          provisions of SB 1018 but would require the CCPDPC to reimburse  
          the secretary for all expenditures incurred in carrying out this  
          program.

          Mushrooms and herbs. This bill would add only cultivated  
          mushrooms and herbs, not all agricultural products, to the list  
          of products banned from sale in areas near a CFM.  When these  
          CFM laws were enacted, the intent was to ban only traditional  
          raw products (such as fresh whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, and  
          flowers) from being sold in an adjacent non-certified market or  
          vending area.  However, cultivated mushrooms and herbs were  
          inadvertently left out at that time and are now included in this  
          bill.

          AB 1135.  The City of Beverly Hills has expressed support for  
          the CFM language that was in AB 1135 which has now been moved  
          into AB 862, however, a letter of support with the updated bill  
          number was not available by the committee deadline.  

           RELATED  
          LEGISLATION  :

          AB 1871 (Dickenson), Chapter 579, Statutes of 2014.  Revises  
          provisions related to certified farmers' markets by increasing  
          fees and penalties and expanding requirements, enforcement, and  
          violations.

          SB 1018 (De León), Chapter 924, Statutes of 2014.  Specifies  
          that only reasonable, rather than all, expenditures incurred by  
          CDFA be reimbursed from the Citrus Disease Management Account  
          for responsibilities related to the Citrus Pest and Disease  








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          Prevention Program, and requires the secretary to notify the  
          California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee prior to  
          making any changes to program activities or increases in  
          expenditures.

          AB 281 (De León) Chapter 426, Statutes of 2009.  Establishes the  
          California Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee and the  
          Citrus Disease Management Account within CDFA to prevent and  
          manage citrus pests and diseases, and allows the committee to  
          levy fees on citrus producers to pay for citrus disease  
          detection and control programs.

          AB 593 (Strom-Martin), Chapter 833, Statutes of 1999.  Codifies  
          regulations exempting direct marketers from specified packing  
          and labeling standards, amends fee structures, and authorizes  
          farmers' markets to establish rules and procedures. 

           PRIOR  
          ACTIONS  :
                         
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          |Assembly Floor:                       |74 - 0                     |
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          |Assembly Appropriations Committee:    |17 - 0                     |
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          |Assembly Agriculture Committee:       |9 - 0                      |
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           SUPPORT  :
          
          Certified Farmers' Markets of Sacramento

           OPPOSITION  :
          
          None received

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