advocacy

A Cause for Celebration: CCOF Policy Day at the State Capitol

Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr.

On February 11, a dedicated group of individuals came together in Sacramento to represent and advocate on behalf of organic at CCOF’s Policy Day. Over 100 members of the organic community met with elected representatives and public officials to hammer home the message that organic is a significant and growing part of the California and national economy.

USDA to Expand Organic Exemption to Federal Check-Off Programs

Comment period extended to February 17, 2015. Comment now.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed a rule that exempts more organic producers, handlers, and importers from paying into conventional commodity check-off programs. The rule is open for comment through January 15, 2015, and is expected to become law next year.

The Proposed Exemption

CCOF Undertakes Report on California’s Organic Program

Many CCOF members feel strongly that fees charged by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Organic Program are duplicative of the fees that they pay for organic certification to the National Organic Program (NOP) and that the state program should be eliminated. In response to these concerns, CCOF’s policy team is undertaking a research and review process to examine the role of the California state organic program relative to the NOP and develop a set of policy recommendations.

CCOF Comments on Organic Standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet October 28-30 in Louisville, Kentucky to review organic standards and to determine what recommendations it will make to the National Organic Program (NOP) for future rulemaking.

CCOF Certification Services President Appointed to Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee

On June 26, 2014 Jake Lewin, CCOF Certification Services President, was announced as one of the seven additional members to join the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in fruits and vegetables. The ATAC members were appointed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, with the intention of ensuring the commercial and economic interests of various agricultural sectors are properly reflected in U.S. trade policies.

Preventing GMO Presence in Organic Products

In an environment where Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives are widely distributed throughout the food chain, it is imperative that organic producers and handlers have strategies and plans to keep them out. A key tenet of "coexistence" is shared responsibility for the exclusion of the methods and products of genetic engineering.

CCOF Joins Call for Moratorium on GMOs in Agriculture

The CCOF Board of Directors voted in mid-May to adopt a strong GMO policy shared by CCOF’s strategic partner, the Organic Trade Association.

The policy calls for a moratorium on production of genetically modified crops until more research on their environmental and potential health issues has been conducted, and a meaningful regulatory framework is in place.

CCOF Focused on Moving Organic Forward

In recent weeks we at CCOF have observed a variety of activities and discussions about organic certification and organic standards.

Animals Need Access to Soil, Not Concrete

CCOF believes that organic livestock standards should require humane and ethical treatment of animals during all stages of production, including transport and slaughter. CCOF, consistent with our mission and principles, has long advocated for NOP standards that ensure outdoor and soil access.

In December 2011, the NOSB unanimously passed a recommendation on Animal Welfare and Stocking Rates that capped off several years of work on these subjects. The NOSB recommendations were consistent with CCOF and other organizations’ recommendations.

Federal Activity on Organic Abounds

Since the farm bill has been signed by President Obama, CCOF is looking forward to implementation of the programs that support the organic sector.

Meanwhile, organic efforts are moving forward on many federal fronts. Here are the details:

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