Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Brise Tencer on Thursday, June 20, 2013 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

As the farm bill process has twisted and turned, it’s been hard to predict what comes next.  Today, in a turn of events that surprised many, the House voted down the farm bill. The $940 billion bill was weak on organic and other sustainable agriculture priorities, but having no bill may be even worse. The USDA is currently acting under an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, which expires in September. Under the extension, many programs important to CCOF members, such as the Organic Certification Cost Share program, are not available. The bill failed mostly due to a partisan rife over cuts to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 on advocacy

This post was written by Eric Steenstra, President, Vote Hemp. On Monday night, Senator Wyden introduced Farm Bill Amendment 952 to define industrial hemp and allow states to regulate it along with bipartisan cosponsorship from Senators Paul, McConnell, and Merkley.  We have never been closer to seeing legal hemp farming in the United States and need your calls and emails to Senate offices today.  Please visit and share this link: http://www.votehemp.com/farmbill.  
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 on advocacy, grower, handler, materials and inputs, NOSB, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met April 9-11 in Portland, Oregon. NOP Deputy Administrator Miles McEvoy reported on the many activities of the National Organic Program (NOP) in the six months since the last meeting. Recent activities include work on the previous NOSB nanotechnology recommendations, international agreements, and aquaculture standards. Proposed rules in progress include origin of livestock, final rule on sodium nitrate, and apiculture standards. Guidance documents still to come this year include grower groups, inspector qualifications, responding to results...
Written by Brise Tencer on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 on advocacy, food safety, grower, handler, standards

Update 04/30/13: The FDA has extended the comment period on the proposed food safety regulations until September 16.  This change was made as a result of numerous requests for more time to review the proposals, which are complex.  The additional time offers CCOF members an opportunity to provide more feedback about the proposals, areas for concerns, or suggested changes. We encourage you to continue sending us your feedback to policy@ccof.org. Original Post 03/13/13: I wanted to take this opportunity to update CCOF members on the FDA proposed rules for implementation of the Food Safety...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 15, 2013 on advocacy, policy

This article appeared in the Spring 2013 edition of Certified Organic magazine. Consumers are increasingly turning to farmers’ markets to buy healthy, fresh produce. As of mid-2012 there were 7,864 farmers’ markets operating nationwide. This is a 9.6 percent increase from 2011. Today, there are over 800 certified (by the state of California) farmers’ markets in California alone, representing approximately 2,200 producers. These markets provide a welcomed higher-margin return to farm producers and reduce costs by eliminating the need for standard pack on fresh fruits and vegetables....
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Thursday, March 7, 2013 on advocacy, farming: materials and inputs, grower, NOP, NOSB, policy, standards

CCOF is committed to ending the use of antibiotics in organic fruit production. We believe that a longer time period is necessary for oxytetracycline than the current 2014 expiration date because of the continuing research in varying locations and seasons that would ensure success, the need for registration of new materials, and enough time for grower education and outreach. We would like to see an extension in the range of 2017 to 2020 for phase out; however, we support the majority position to extend the expiration date for the use of oxytetracycline to October 21, 2016. While our clients...
Written by Brise Tencer on Monday, January 14, 2013 on advocacy, farm bill, funding, policy

In the last days of December and the beginning of January, Congress and the White House passed legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They attached language to the legislation that extends provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months, giving themselves until September 2013 to write a new farm bill. Unfortunately for farmers across the nation, this farm bill does not actually extend all programs and leaves many growers high and dry. Organic farmers were hit particularly hard by this move as no funding was provided for the Organic Data Initiative (which provides for price reporting and...
Written by Cathy Calfo on Thursday, January 10, 2013 on advocacy, genetic engineering, services

It's a New Year! Our first CCOF staff meeting of the new year began with sharing personal resolutions and words of wisdom with each other. Our vows to get in better shape, be more present, and take on new challenges match well with CCOF’s organizational goals: Provide more personalized certification services (faster, less paper). Talk directly to local congressional offices for action on a new U.S. farm bill and investment in organic. While averting the fiscal cliff, Congress eliminated nearly all farm bill support for organic agriculture. Remind our friends and neighbors to say “No” to GMOs...
Written by Brise Tencer on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 on advocacy, food safety, policy, standards

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released two proposed rules for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law on January 4, 2011. One of the rules is about produce safety and other is about processing. Both rules have 120-day comment periods. Additional rules related to implementation of FSMA are expected. The proposed Produce Safety Rule would establish standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce on domestic and foreign farms in light of identified routes of microbial contamination of produce, including agricultural water;...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 10, 2012 on advocacy, CalCAN, policy

This article was written by Renata Brillinger, California Climate & Agriculture Network. This is a good news and a bad news story. First, the bad news… In June 2012, an international team of researchers released a report in the journal Nature warning that climate change, population growth, and environmental destruction are leading to a “tipping point” that will cause disastrous and irreversible biological changes across the globe. The authors say that we are poised at the point in history when uncontrollable ecological events are beginning to take place and without bold and immediate...

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