Policy & Advocacy

The Alliance works on state and national policy initiatives that directly relate to its mission, serving California Certified Farmers’ Markets. We also have several Steering Committee members who are active on the California Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee.

Current  Priorities

  • AB 2335 (Ting) – Nutrition Incentives in Corner Stores, a pilot program to provide small retail/corner stores grants for purchasing energy efficient refrigerated produce display boxes and receive technical assistance. Ensures that the CalFresh Market Match program (CNIP) always provides farmers markets a generous portion of the total funds available. SUPPORT
  • AB 2377 (Irwin) – technical assistance for farmers and ranchers seeking to transition to Climate Smart Agriculture. AB 2377 would require that 15 percent of the annual budgets for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), and Healthy Soils Program be used to provide technical assistance to farmers and ranchers applying for those programs. SUPPORT
  • AB 626 (E. Garcia) – The Homemade Food Preparations Act would allow home cooks to sell food via web based apps. Currently, the way it’s written poses a threat to consumers and cooks by protecting the tech companies that manage the online platforms and apps. We ask for an amendment to take the farmer’s market model; only allow non-profits, cook co-ops, or government agencies to operate web-based selling platforms. OPPOSE, UNLESS AMENDED.
  • AB 2909 (Wood) – update of the California Food & Agriculture code to allow small-scale producers of rabbits & birds to hire non-family members, slaughter on farm & be an approved source for sales to hotels, restaurants, retailers and food service institutions if producer registers with CDFA and abides by rearing, slaughter & traceability BMPs. SUPPORT
  • SB 946 (Lara) – this bill would decriminalize sidewalk vending, statewide (especially important regarding current immigration climate and ICE activity). The bill prohibits local authorities from restricting sidewalk vendors unless directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns. SB 946 specifies that economic competition does not constitute an objective health, safety, or welfare concern: This could clearly impact Farmers’ Markets, who are threatened by side-of-the road fruit vendors. Asking for amendment to exclude farmers’ markets from the restrictions on objections. OPPOSE, UNLESS AMENDED

The Farm Bill is the single biggest food, nutrition, and farming omnibus legislation in the country and is passed every five years. The current farm bill is set to expire at the end of September, 2018. The Alliance is working with the national Farmers’ Market Coalition to advocate for policies that support small farmers, direct-marketing, and farmers’ markets. Alliance member, Allen Moy from Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA), met with policy makers in Washington, DC in early May and took this one-pager about our FMPP grant.
– Blog Post: Top 5 Threats of the House version of the Farm Bill.
– Update May 18, 2018 – The House voted against the Farm Bill, 198 – 213.

Past Policy Priorities

AB 1321 Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program, later becoming California Nutrition Incentive Program
AB 2324 Amendment to Direct Marketing legislation
AB 1871 Agricultural products: direct marketing: certified farmers’ markets
AB 2385 Market Match Nutrition Incentive Program