If you haul produce in or out of California, you may want to
make plans to attend a public hearing regarding the implementation of a
proposed California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement.
The public hearing to gauge support for the growers'
proposal is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, at the Monterey County
Fairgrounds in Monterey, CA.
OOIDA has submitted comments to the California Department of
Food & Agriculture as part of the public hearing process. The proposed
rules stem from the national publicity related to the E. coli outbreak in
September 2006, which left more than 200 sickened and three dead from eating
Some of the country's largest retailers issued a letter to
California growers in October 2006 demanding stricter food safety practices to
boost consumer confidence in leafy greens. The Western Growers Association, a
trade organization that represents California growers, is one of the leading
sponsors of the proposal to establish new food safety standards for leafy green
OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Specialist Joe Rajkovacz said the
proposed agreement could impose additional requirements from shippers upon
produce haulers' operations and that the CDFA doesn't understand the importance
of having truckers' interests represented in drafting a viable marketing
"There is a missing link in the food chain as it relates to
food safety, and the CDFA doesn't get that truckers who haul the produce from
the fields to the retailers need a place at the table to help develop safer
food practices in all aspects of the food supply chain," he said. "The CDFA and
the Western Growers Association need to hear the insights and concerns of
produce haulers and OOIDA members."
You can read OOIDA's comments of the proposed Marketing
Agreement by visiting http://www.landlinemag.com/Legislative_Watch/2007/CA/Action_Alerts/call2actCA1_07.pdf
If you plan on attending the hearing or would like further
information, please contact Joe Rajkovacz at 1-800-444-5791.
- By Clarissa
Kell-Holland, staff writer