Legislative Primer on AB 1871 and AB 2385

Bill Number: AB 1871
Name: Agricultural products: direct marketing: certified farmers’ markets
Sponsor: Dickinson

AB 1871 is a long bill with many that proposes many significant changes to the existing legal framework under which farmers’ markets operate. Hearings on the bill will start in the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, most likely in early April.

As written, AB 1871 includes the following changes to existing law:

  • Broadens penalties associated with false, deceptive, or misleading statements or representations about ag products and the term “California Grown.” Penalties collected would be used to fund investigation and enforcement of said statements.
  • Creates definitions for the terms “producer,” “practice of agricultural arts,” and “agricultural product.”
  • Authorizes CDFA to contract out work to County Ag Commissioners
  • Authorizes market operators to pay County Ag Commissioners for verification inspections of farms
  • Changes the definition of Certified Farmers’ Markets (CFM) to a point of sales for California agricultural products.
  • Market operators can implement whatever requirements they see fit as long as they don’t conflict with state laws or regs.
  • Requires farmers to:
    1. Post a sign stating “We Grow What We Sell” or the equivalent
    2. label processed agricultural products with certain specific information
    3. clearly label organic products
  • Prohibits the sale of fresh whole produce in the non-ag area of a CFM
  • Eliminates provisions allowing farmers to appeal decisions of market operators to CDFA and the requirement for CDFA to hear such an appeal.
  • Requires the establishment of the Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee and reduces the number of representatives from 17 to 14.
  • Changes the application for a market or producer’s certificate to a registration process
  • Eliminates requirement for annual (or more frequent) inspection of all farmers holding a CPC. Requires all new CPC holders to be inspected.
  • Changes the fees paid to CDFA by market operators from $.60 per ag producer per market day to $2 per vendor (ag and non-ag) per market day

Bill Number: AB 2385
Name: Market Match Nutrition Incentive Program
Sponsor: Ting

AB 2385 would establish the Market Match Nutrition Incentive Program and affiliated Market Match Nutrition Incentive Account in the Department of Food and Agriculture to award grants to Market Match programs. These programs increase the purchasing power of CalFresh, WIC, Senior Farmers Market, and SSI and SSDI recipients when they use their nutrition benefits to purchase fruits, nuts, and vegetables at farmers’ markets by doubling the value of those benefits at the farmers’ market.

AB2385 seeks to secure funds to match Federal funds allocated in the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program of the farm bill.