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Cruz-Perez Bill to Establish Food Hubs Advances

Nilsa Cruz Perez

Helps Farmers Meet Sales Demand

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez that would authorize the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to promote food hubs as agricultural cooperatives across the state was approved today by the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

“New Jersey is diverse on every level, and its industries are no exception.  But first and foremost, we are called ‘The Garden State’ for a reason and we must uphold and support our farms and farmers in every way possible,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester).

The bill, S-1953, would charge the Department of Agriculture with adopting all rules and regulations necessary for the establishment and operation of food hubs, and create guidelines to assist and support farms seeking to belong to food hubs in their area of the state.

The bill defines “food hub” as a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local or regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.

“By fortifying and enhancing the marketplace and by facilitating the merging of supply and demand, this legislation allows farmers to maximize their revenue and buyers to select from the widest, freshest assortment of produce and product,” said Senator Cruz-Perez.

Today’s 5-0 vote advances the bill to the full Senate for further consideration.