This page highlights the various programs within the Agriculture Department that protect consumers and industries alike.
How Does Ag Protect Consumers & Industry?
This program is responsible for enforcing quality standards for many of the fresh fruit, nuts, vegetables and honey available for sale at the wholesale and retail level. These standards are set by the industry and serve three purposes:
- They assist the production industry in maintaining high quality produce,
- They permit the buying of produce "sight unseen" by ensuring that a "grade" placed on the produce is standardized throughout the industry,
- They protect the consumer from inferior quality produce
This program is designed similarly to the fruit and vegetable quality control program above. It assures a standardized grading and sizing system so that the egg producing industry remains competitive and we afford some protection to the consumer. Additionally, some of the egg quality standards protect the health of the public. Various diseases such as Salmonella have recently been linked t the improper storage of eggs. Egg inspection is performed at the retail and wholesale level.
Even though many people may be unaware of this program, it affects everyone's daily life. The program includes:
- The testing of pre-packaged commodities to assure that the net-quantity statement on the label is accurate.
- The testing and inspection of commercial weighing and measuring devices to insure accuracy to protect the buyer and seller.
- Enforcing requirements for petroleum products including antifreeze, brake fluid, motor oil, grades of diesel and octane levels of gasoline.
- We enforce Weighmaster rules and regulations to ensure compliance with State law so that the public and industry are informed as to what was purchased or sold.
We promote fairness and equity in the marketplace for Siskiyou County residents and businesses. The mission of weights and measures is to allow a good value comparison to the consumer while maintaining fair competition between business.
The annual crop report is required by the Food and Agricultural Code Section 2279 for the purpose of publishing an accurate and meaningful report on the state of the agricultural conditions in Siskiyou County. Every year, between 350 and 400 copies of the county's crop report are requested by a variety of businesses. Lending and financial institutions are very interested in the crop report.
These important markets give the producers of farm products the option of selling directly to the consumer without the requirements of meeting size, pack, container, and labeling requirements (Standardization). This forum gives the public a "direct" link to the production of the crop by buying the produce from the grower. We have had two markets operating in the county, with 24 growers participating in the markets.
We are the local enforcement agency regarding the registration of organic producers and handlers. We assist the people and businesses in the registration process and we explain the requirements of the California organic law. No pesticides may have been used on the land for organic food production two years prior to the production of food labeled as `organic,' and of course, no pesticides may be used on these crops once they are considered organic.
Currently, we have 45 registered growers in Siskiyou County.