June 20, 2013
Contact: Dan Hendrick, (212) 361-6350 ext. 206
NYLCV applauds Assembly Member Peoples-Stokes and Sen. Ritchie
The New York State Legislature gave final approval on June 20 to one of NYLCV's top priorities of 2013!
NYLCV joined a broad coalition of farming, conservation and environmental organizations applauding the Assembly for unanimously passing legislation that will strengthen the state's local-food economy and protect New York farms. The groups also urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign this important legislation into law.
The Hon. Crystal Peoples-Stokes is the Assembly sponsor of the bill.The Food Metrics Bill (S.4061 /A.5102 ), sponsored by Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, will require state agencies to establish a robust food purchasing, tracking and reporting system that will provide baseline data about money being spent on food and the geographic source of such food. The bill also lays the groundwork to encourage state institutions to buy more food grown on farms in New York.
The Hon. Patty Ritchie is the Senate sponsor of the Food Metrics Bill."Today's Assembly passage of the Food Metrics Bill is a tremendous win for New York farms, for our state's agricultural economy as well as for sustainable food," said New York League of Conservation Voters President Marcia Bystryn. "Thank you to all of the Assembly Members who supported this legislation, especially Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes, who invested significant time and energy to get it passed. We look forward to Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing this bill into law."
New York currently has no reliable data on the amount of food it purchases in- and out-of-state. Without a baseline to measure against, it is very difficult to scale up the consumption of local foods, a step which is of vital necessity to New York's struggling agriculture industry. The benefits of buying local are numerous - it reduces our carbon footprint by cutting down on the transport of foods from out-of-state, it provides a boon to our local economy and it provides New Yorkers with fresher, healthier food.
The Food Metrics Bill mandates that state agencies establish a tracking and reporting program for all food they're buying. It requires the Office of General Services and the Department of Agriculture and Markets to set guidelines for state agencies on increasing their purchase of local foods. Successful bidders on state food contracts would also have to provide the type, dollar value, and geographic origin of all their food to the procuring agency.