BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                    AB 1826


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          1826 (Mark Stone)


          As Amended  April 26, 2016


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 
          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Agriculture     |10-0 |Dodd, Mathis, Eggman, |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher, Gray,      |                    |
          |                |     |Grove, Irwin,         |                    |
          |                |     |Jones-Sawyer, Quirk,  |                    |
          |                |     |Salas                 |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |----------------+-----+----------------------+--------------------|
          |Appropriations  |20-0 |Gonzalez, Bigelow,    |                    |
          |                |     |Bloom, Bonilla,       |                    |
          |                |     |Bonta, Calderon,      |                    |
          |                |     |Chang, Daly, Eggman,  |                    |
          |                |     |Gallagher, Eduardo    |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Roger         |                    |
          |                |     |HernŠndez, Holden,    |                    |
          |                |     |Jones, Obernolte,     |                    |
          |                |     |Quirk, Santiago,      |                    |
          |                |     |Wagner, Weber, Wood   |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------ 








                                                                    AB 1826


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          SUMMARY:  This bill overhauls the State Organic Program (SOP),  
          including changing the SOP fee structure and granting a larger  
          administrative role to accredited certifying agencies.   
          Specifically, this bill:  


          1)Restructures the SOP by reducing certain registration fees,  
            authorizes certifying agencies to register organic farmers and  
            pay fees, and changes the paperwork requirements for  
            registration.


          2)Adds that the Advisory Committee (AC) is to advise the  
            Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture  
            (CDFA) on education, outreach, and technical assistance for  
            organic producers, among other specified activities of the  
            Secretary.


          3)Expands and changes the make-up of the AC by adding a  
            representative from an accredited certifying agency operating  
            within this state, reducing from two to one member  
            representing consumers.


          4)Adds specified definitions to the Food and Agricultural Code  
            (FAC).


          5)Increases the fee cap the Secretary may charge a certifying  
            agency operation in California to $500, and permits certifying  
            agencies to submit annual registration fees and applications  
            on behalf of their clients


          6)Requires any certifying agency to make specified records  
            available to the Secretary or the county agricultural  








                                                                    AB 1826


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            commissioner (CAC) within three business days of a request.


          7)Makes technical, clarifying and conforming changes.


          (For a more detailed analysis, please see the Assembly Policy  
          Committee's analysis.)


          EXISTING LAW:  SOP is statutorily mandated to enforce the  
          federal Organic Food Production Act of 1990; National Organic  
          Program (NOP) regulations; the California Organic Products Act  
          of 2003; and, SOP regulations.  Every person engaged in  
          California in the production or handling of raw agricultural  
          products sold as organic, must register with CAC in the county  
          of principal operation prior to the first sale of the product.   
          In addition, every person engaged in this State in the  
          processing or handling of processed products is required to  
          register with the Department of Public Health (DPH). 


          Generally, CDFA registers and enforces organic provisions  
          related to raw agricultural products while DPH registers and  
          enforces organic provisions related to processed organic  
          products.  SOP's enforcement activities are coordinated with  
          DPH, NOP, and CAC's SOP's activities including program  
          administration; county biologist training; spot inspections;  
          residue testing and sampling; complaint investigations;  
          registration; and, providing information and guidance to the  
          California organic industry.  


          Federal law establishes NOP, which requires operations that  
          produce or handle organic agricultural products to comply with  
          federal organic standards and be certified by a certifying  
          agent, as specified.  NOP has recognized SOP as a state organic  
          program and has delegated enforcement of federal organic  
          standards and regulations to SOP.








                                                                    AB 1826


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          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, there is a one-time administrative cost of  
          approximately $100,000 for CDFA to reprogram the current online  
          registration system and database, which will allow CDFA to  
          restructure the application process, data collection and  
          assignments, and fee schedule; and, ongoing annual revenue loss  
          in the range approximately $150,000 from the new fee schedule. 


          COMMENTS:  The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) is a  
          trade association, as well as an approved organic certifying  
          agent; they want to bring more consistency to the state and  
          federal programs by reducing the required paperwork for farmers  
          and reduce the cost of filing with SOP.  They state that much of  
          the paperwork and fees are duplicative of NOP, and that much of  
          the information required of SOP is already collected by the  
          certifying agents.  Further, they state that SOP puts California  
          organic producers, processors and handlers at a competitive  
          disadvantage.


          California was the first state to create an Organic Food Act in  
          1979.  In 1990, SOP was created under the Organic Foods  
          Production Act of 1990 which authorized United States Department  
          of Agriculture (USDA) to establish the NOP regulations.  USDA  
          finished development of NOP regulations in 2002.  The purpose of  
          these laws is to ensure that the consumer is purchasing organic  
          products when labeled as organic.


          According to USDA, organic agriculture has grown substantially  
          over the past years to an annual sales level of more than $39  
          billion in the United States and over $75 billion worldwide.   
          The numbers of certified organic operations have significantly  
          increased, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the  
          organic sector.  According to new data, there are now 21,781  
          certified organic operations in the United States.  California  








                                                                    AB 1826


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          has roughly 4,160 registered organic operations.  CDFA estimates  
          that California producers account for over 40% of the organic  
          production in the United States.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
          Jim Collin / AGRI. / (916) 319-2084  FN: 0003294