BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    





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

          Bill No:           SB 746          Hearing Date: 8/17/16
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          |Author:    |Wolk                                                 |
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          |Version:   |6/6/16                                               |
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          |Urgency:   |No                    |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|Anne Megaro                                          |
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           Subject:  Olive Oil Commission of California:  voting members:   
                             chair of advisory committee


           SUMMARY  :
          This bill would change the chair of the advisory committee from  
          an ex-officio member to a voting member on the Olive Oil  
          Commission of California Board of Directors.  This bill also  
          requires the chair of the advisory committee to designate an  
          alternate to serve in the chair's absence.


           BACKGROUND AND EXISTING  
          LAW  :
          The Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC) was created in  
          2013 to engage in olive oil research and to recommend grading  
          and labeling standards to the California Department of Food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA).  After a successful producer referendum, the  
          OOCC developed California olive oil grading and labeling  
          standards that would apply only to California producers  
          processing over 5,000 gallons of olive oil, refined-olive oil,  
          or olive-pomace oil, per year. CDFA approved these  
          recommendations, and they became effective on September 26,  
          2014.

          The OOCC Advisory Committee was created to provide an  
          opportunity for smaller olive oil producers (processing less  








          SB 746 (Wolk)                                       Page 2 of ?
          
          than 5,000 gallons a year and, therefore, not eligible to  
          participate as "producers" within the OOCC) to advise the OOCC  
          on issues affecting California olive oil.

          California produces 99% of the olives grown within the United  
          States.  According to the California Olive Oil Council, there  
          are over 400 growers and approximately 38,000 acres dedicated to  
          the production of extra virgin olive oil.  With over 75 olive  
          varieties grown in California, it is estimated that the 2015-16  
          harvest produced over 4 million gallons of extra virgin olive  
          oil.

          Existing law:

             1)   Establishes the Olive Oil Commission of California to  
               engage in olive oil research and to recommend grades and  
               labeling standards.  The OOCC is comprised of six  
               producers, three handlers, a public member, and ex-officio  
               members which include the chair of the OOCC Advisory  
               Committee, the secretary of CDFA, and other appropriate  
               persons as determined by the board.

             2)   Establishes the OOCC Advisory Committee to review issues  
               affecting California olive oil and to advise the OOCC Board  
               of Dnirectors.

             3)   Prescribes OOCC membership, board of directors, powers  
               and duties, implementing and voting procedures, assessments  
               and recordkeeping, penalties, continuation or termination  
               of the commission, and creation of quality standards.  

             4)   Authorizes the OOCC to levy an annual assessment, not to  
               exceed $0.25 per gallon of olive oil, on producers  
               processing more than 5,000 gallons in one marketing season,  
               as defined.


           PROPOSED  
          LAW  :

          This bill:

             1)   Changes the chair of the OOCC Advisory Committee from an  
               ex-officio member to a full voting member of the OOCC Board  
               of Directors.








          SB 746 (Wolk)                                       Page 3 of ?
          
             2)   Requires the chair of the OOCC Advisory Committee to  
               designate an alternate member to serve as Chair in the  
               chair's absence.


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:
           According to the author, "The Olive Oil Commission of California  
          desire[s] to include representation from the small and artisan  
          olive oil producers, as well as large olive oil producers, [and]  
          will promote unity and strength of the California industry as it  
          continues to grow and produce high quality extra virgin olive  
          oil."

          According to those in support, this bill is part of an ongoing  
          effort by the OOCC to give small and artisan producers full  
          participation in policymaking and activities of the commission.   
          Although the OOCC is made up only of larger producers, the  
          decisions of the commission affect the entire industry;  
          therefore, it is fair that smaller producers be represented.


           COMMENTS  :

          Need for this bill. This bill ratifies the action taken by the  
          OOCC board on September 9, 2015.  At this meeting, board member  
          participation was discussed, and it was suggested that the  
          advisory committee chair be made a voting member of the OOCC so  
          that small producers effectively will be stakeholders in OOCC  
          activities.  The board unanimously approved a motion to begin  
          the process to have "ex-officio" removed from law.

          Commissions and Councils.  There are approximately 16 active  
          commissions and councils, all of which are governed by boards of  
          directors and overseen by the California Department of Food and  
          Agriculture (CDFA).  These entities were created to enhance  
          their industries by investing in promotion, advertising,  
          education, marketing research, scientific research, and/or the  
          creation and regulation of quality standards.  Generally,  
          commissions and councils are initiated by the industry and go  
          into effect following an affirmative industry referendum vote  
          and, at times, a periodic vote to reaffirm their existence.   
          Once in effect, every member of the industry, as specified, is  
          required to follow all laws and regulations including, but not  
          limited to, the payment of assessment fees.

          Unlike marketing orders and marketing agreements, commissions  







          SB 746 (Wolk)                                       Page 4 of ?
          
          and councils are created through commodity-specific legislation.  
           Generally, councils are advisory to CDFA and all actions are  
          subject to CDFA approval.  Commissions have greater autonomy and  
          do not serve an advisory purpose; however, CDFA must concur with  
          their annual budget and activities statement, and CDFA has the  
          authority to issue cease and desist orders for commission  
          actions that CDFA deems to not be in the public interest.


           RELATED  
          LEGISLATION  :

          SB 65 (Wolk), Chapter 138, Statutes of 2015.  Removes the use of  
          American Viticultural Areas from olive oil labels and instead  
          specifies regions or estates within California to indicate oil  
          source.  Requires that olive oil labeled as originating from a  
          specific region of California contain at least 85% oil made from  
          olives grown in that specified region, and if labeled from a  
          specific estate, 95% from olives grown on the specified estate.

          SB 250 (Wolk), Chapter 344, Statutes of 2013. Creates the Olive  
          Oil Commission of California to engage in olive oil research and  
          to recommend grades and labeling standards.  

          SB 818 (Wolk), Chapter 567, Statutes of 2011.  Conforms  
          California olive oil labeling requirements to United States  
          labeling standards published in the U.S. Standards for Grade of  
          Olive Oil and Olive-Pomace Oil.

          SB 920 (Thompson), Chapter 543, Statutes of 1997.  Requires that  
          olive oil sold as "California Olive Oil" must be solely derived  
          from California-grown olives and requires olive oil with an  
          American Viticultural Areas (AVA) label to contain at least 75%  
          oil made from olives grown within the specified AVA.

           PRIOR  
          ACTIONS  :
                         
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          |Assembly Floor:                       |78 - 0                     |
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          |Assembly Appropriations Committee:    |20 - 0                     |
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          |Assembly Rules Committee:             |11 - 0                     |
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          SB 746 (Wolk)                                       Page 5 of ?
          

           SUPPORT  :
          
          Olive Oil Commission of California (Sponsor)
          California Olive Oil Council 
          Cal Athena 
          California Olive Ranch          
          Dickson Napa Ranch 
          Lodi Farming, Inc.
          Olio Nuevo  
          The Groves on 41
          Santa Cruz Olive Tree Nursery
          Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

           OPPOSITION  :
          
          None received

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