A Resilient and Equitable Food and Farming System in California

A Resilient and Equitable Food and Farming System in California

Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D- Hollister) recently made an exciting announcement about a bill he just introduced called the Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms and Worker Protection Bond Act (AB 125).

Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D- Hollister) recently made an exciting announcement about a bill he just introduced called the Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms and Worker Protection Bond Act (AB 125). Center for Food Safety (CFS) is proud to be a member of the diverse coalition that is co-sponsoring the bill.

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed weaknesses within our food and farming system and exacerbated long-standing inequities. This bond measure proposed in AB 125 would invest in California’s communities in order to address the multiple challenges we face today: recovering from the impacts of the pandemic and fighting the climate crisis while rebuilding our food and farming system to be more equitable and resilient in the face of future shocks.

CFS believes that a safe food supply requires an agricultural system where farmers use practices that reduce chemical use, promote soil health, and clean air and water. This legislation will ensure much needed funds to help farmers transition to these practices while also increasing access to safe and healthy food for all Californians.

At the press conference announcing the bill, Assemblymember Rivas and Assemblymember Kalra shared the reasons for their leadership on this initiative.

“It is time for a better food system in our state-one that is more resilient, more sustainable, and more just. AB 125 is an investment in our future that will help spur our economy and rebuild our food and farming systems to be more equitable for all Californians, while protecting our environment and our farmlands, so California’s agricultural industry can remain competitive for many decades to come.” — Assemblymember Robert Rivas

“There is a lot of connection between what is happening in our urban communities & our rural communities. I’m here to speak on the importance of this bond on the issues of economic recovery, climate change, food security & farm system workers.” — Assemblymember Ash Kalra

For the first time, AB 125 will give voters the opportunity to invest in building the infrastructure needed to provide Californians a safe, reliable, healthy, and environmentally sustainable food supply. This measure aims to deliver healthy food for the most vulnerable Californians while climate-proofing our farms that face droughts, wildfires, and extreme weather. It also makes investments in disadvantaged communities, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, Tribes, small- and medium-sized farms and small businesses to ensure an equitable economic recovery for California.

The four main areas in the bond are:

  1. Investments in Farmworkers ($637 million) — Affordable housing for farmworker families, stockpiling PPE for workers, and improving indoor air quality in existing farmworker housing and better connecting farmworker housing with services.
  2. Investments in Agricultural Solutions to the Climate Crisis ($1.135 billion) — Sustainable agricultural solutions to slow the impacts of climate change and reduce pollution; strategies that reduce wildfire risk and invest in farmland conservation to keep our farms viable and resilient; compost infrastructure to build healthy soils; groundwater sustainability.
  3. Investments to Combat Hunger and Improve Healthy Food Access ($750 million) — Infrastructure to improve food access for all Californians through our schools, food banks, food hubs, urban farms, farmers’ markets and other community-based investments to provide access to healthy, sustainably produced food.
  4. Investments in our Regional Food Economies ($600 million) — Regional food processing, storage and distribution infrastructure to strengthen small- and medium-scale businesses across the food supply chain, and to increase equity, energy conservation and efficiency of farm (and sea) to table.

For a summary of AB 125, click , and for the full bill language.

TAKE ACTION!
If you would like to support AB 125, please click here to sign on to a letter.

Originally published at https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org.

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Protecting Our Food, Our Farms & Our Environment

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Protecting Our Food, Our Farms & Our Environment

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