State Senate Gives Cannella's Agriculture Bills Final Approval

SB 513, SB 707 to Governor Brown for Consideration
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The California State Senate today gave its final approval to Senate Bill 513, a measure authored by State Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) to continue the popular Certified Farmers’ Market program and to reinstate a rendering enforcement program at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The Senate also approved Senate Bill 707, Cannella’s bill to add olives to the list of crops included in the Fruit Tree, Nut Tree, and Grapevine Improvement Advisory Board (IAB) at CDFA and in the Foundation Plant Services program at UC Davis.

“California’s farmers and renderers play an integral role in supporting California agribusinesses; continuing the farmers’ market and rendering enforcement programs through SB 513 will help ensure the integrity of both sectors of our state’s agriculture industry. Furthermore, SB 707 will help maintain the health of California’s oil olive trees so that this growing sector can continue expanding in the years to come,” said Cannella. “I’m grateful for my colleagues’ overwhelming bipartisan support for SB 513 and SB 707, and I urge Governor Brown to sign these industry-sponsored bills.”

SB 513 reinstates pre-existing, self-imposed rendering industry fees to help ensure the safe and proper disposal of animal by-products, as well as to prevent the theft of valuable kitchen grease. It also establishes a seven-member Rendering Industry Advisory Board designed to advise the CDFA secretary on industry-specific issues. The bill also extends the Certified Farmers’ Market Program for an additional two years and allows farmers’ markets to continue collecting self-imposed, industry-supported assessments to fund statewide coordination of their activities. SB 513 is sponsored by the Pacific Coast Rendering Association and the California Grain and Feed Association. The California State Assembly approved SB 513 on August 25; the bill has received unanimous support throughout the legislative process.

By including olives in the CDFA Foundation Plant Services program at UC Davis, SB 707 provides the industry access to disease-free, virus tested, and true-to-type certification for oil olive trees developed through extensive research. The bill also expands the membership of the Fruit Tree, Nut Tree, and Grapevine IAB, which oversees the program, to include representatives of licensed olive nursery stock producers. Participation in the program would be funded by an industry-supported 1 percent assessment on olive tree sales, which is consistent with the assessment applied to other crops in the IAB. The California State Assembly approved SB 707 on August 29.

Both bills now go to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for his consideration; the governor has until October 9 to sign or veto the measures.