CLFP staff participated in a meeting held on November 17 that was conducted by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), Valley Vision, and a coalition of agricultural groups. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss how stakeholder groups in the six counties of the region (Yuba, Sutter, Yolo, Placer, El Dorado, Sacramento) can work together to promote agriculture, food processing, and rural development. With the decline in other industries, SACOG is focusing on the contributions of agriculture to the regional economy, the untapped potential to generate new jobs in agriculture, and current obstacles to growth in the food sector. At the meeting, CLFP staff discussed how the high cost of doing business in California, and the extensive regulatory burden facing food processors are inhibiting growth across the state. SACOG is interested in promoting the expansion of the food processing sector in the region due to the significant amount of direct and indirect employment that food processors tend to generate. The agricultural groups that attended the meeting stressed that farmers consider environmental stewardship to be a high priority for their business and that high quality farmland must be preserved where possible. All the participants agreed that elected officials in both the region and the general public would benefit from an increased understanding of agricultural issues. SACOG will continue to work with the agricultural coalition to develop and pursue a policy agenda and conduct outreach to stakeholders.

Article written by Rob Neenan, Senior Vice President

California League Of Food Producers