LOS ANGELES – California state legislators, farmers and state agricultural representatives met at the Los Angeles Farmers Market to celebrate the official passage of ACR-42, a resolution that urges Californians to dedicate Sundays to eating California grown foods.
California's economy could be bolstered as much as $15.6 billion annually if Californians pledged to eat all locally grown foods just one day a week, according to the measure’s proponents. The State Senate passed the resolution on June 23, following the unanimous passage by the State Assembly on June 2. The resolution encourages California residents to support California farmers and food producers rather than out-of-state or international competitors for the good of both state and local economies, employees and communities.
More than 85 percent of California consumers said it is important to purchase foods "Grown in California,” according to an NSON Opinion Strategy survey commissioned by Foster Farms. Seventy-three percent of Californians said they would be willing to participate in supporting California foods one day a week.
The "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" resolution was introduced March 23 during California Ag Day at the Capitol. Originally authored by Assembly members Fiona Ma, Speaker Pro Tempore, and Cathleen Gagiani, chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, the resolution was finalized with 61 members of the Assembly as cosigners. It has gained support from more than 23 California commodity boards and associations and received written endorsement from Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.
ACR-42 calls for Californians to prepare meals made exclusively from California grown ingredients every Sunday. "This resolution could mean as much as $230 million to the California poultry industry alone, supporting 25,000 jobs,” said Ira Brill, director of communications, Foster Farms.
Recent NSON survey findings from Foster Farms include:
- Consumers rank poultry (71 percent), produce (79 percent) and milk (78 percent) as the most important foods to be California grown.
- More than half of Californians "often" or "always" purchase fresh, local foods (74 percent – milk, 65 percent - poultry, 80 percent – produce; 57 percent – meats) opposed to the national average revealed in a 2010 survey by Yale and George Mason universities showing that 26 percent of US consumers "often" or "always" purchase fresh, locally-grown foods.
- More than 77 percent of California consumers agreed California has larger bounty/more fresh, locally-grown foods than other parts of the country.
- More than half of respondents were unaware of, and responded negatively to, the fact that nearly half of fresh chicken sold in grocery stores is shipped from states outside of California from as far away as Arkansas and Texas. More than 43 percent of respondents would refuse to buy fresh poultry if they knew it took longer than 48 hours to be delivered to their store.
- Eighty-three percent of Californians say they are more likely to buy fresh chicken that has been grown on farms located in California than grown in other states.