The creation of California’s “Office of Farm to Fork,” which would be integrated within the California Department of Food and Agriculture, took a major step toward becoming a reality. AB 2413, which would establish this “Office of Farm to Fork,” passed on the Assembly floor Monday with a 75-0 vote.
AB 2413, sponsored by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, has thus far sailed through the legislative process after being introduced in February. The bill has yet to receive a “no” vote, passing through the Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture with a 7-0 vote on April 30. AB 2413 passed from the Assembly Appropriation Committee on May 14 via a 16-0 vote.
While the term “farm to fork” has more of a culinary connotation with foodies, especially via restaurants that emphasize locally sourced ingredients, California’s Office of Farm to Fork is geared toward broader efforts related to food access and sustaining healthy communities. The Office of Farm to Fork would coordinate with agri-business, schools and community organizations to achieve its goals of improving access to nutritious foods.
AB 2413 has now made it farther through a nearly identical bill which was introduced by Perez in 2012. That bill, AB 38, died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee due to cost concerns. For this second attempt at creating an Office of Farm to Fork, a bill analysis from the Assembly Appropriations Committee noted “minor and absorbable incremental costs” to the Department of Food and Agriculture as related to AB 2413.
AB 2413 is now in the Senate Rules Committee, where it will be assigned to a committee for further hearings.