Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill requiring state agencies to prioritize California produce when purchasing food. Assembly Bill 822, mandates state-run institutions to buy agricultural products from California if the bid is within 5 percent of a comparable bid from an out-of-state provider. The California produce would also have to be of equal quality to that of competing bids.
The only exceptions to the law are public universities and colleges. School districts will fall under the mandate, but California bids would only have to be accepted if they do not exceed the lowest out-of-state bid.
The California Farm Bureau Federation sponsored the bill, noting the various regulations that the state’s farmers and ranchers already conform to. California produce is grown using some of the most demanding environmental regulations and workplace safety protocols in the United States.
The bill was approved by Governor Brown and filed with the Secretary of State on October 14. AB-822, “Institutional purchasers: sale of California produce,” was introduced by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, from Salinas. The governor had 977 bills up for his consideration, signing a total 859 and vetoing the rest. The governor was under an October 15th deadline to take some type of action on the proposed bills.