CCOF Blog

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


spreckles housing

Tanimura & Antle (T&A) is leading the way in setting an industry standard for housing by providing modern, quality housing for its farmworker staff. In California, housing is an issue for all industries. Many high-end tech companies are investing heavily in housing to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Farmworkers, one of the most overlooked highly skilled workforces in our nation, could benefit from similar benefits. Without the ability to pick produce “remotely,” farmworkers will always need to live near the land where they work. And, without significant investment from their...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 23, 2020 on events, general organic

The Real Organic Project celebrates nearly 500 farms nationwide and is expanding its educational efforts this winter by inviting farmers and students to attend their Virtual Symposium each Sunday in January from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. PST at a reduced rate, or to view the recorded sessions for free. The 2021 symposium, titled “Can Real Organic Farming Be Saved?” features over 60 leading voices in sustainable agriculture and food, including Al Gore, Vandana Shiva, Leah Penniman, Paul Hawkin, Chanowk Yisrael, JM Fortier, Elliot Coleman, and Dan Barber. Did you know California is the third highest...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, November 16, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic, transition

You still have one week to apply for a $5,000 boost for your organic transition! It can be challenging to transition to certified organic, and we don’t expect farmers to do it alone. That’s why we’ve partnered with Anheuser-Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide financial support to growers during the critical phase of becoming organic.  Want to take your farm forward and transition to organic? Maybe you’re already practicing organic methods and need that final incentive to get certified. Now is your chance to lessen the financial challenge of...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, resources

The deadline for farmers and ranchers to apply for financial relief from USDA through the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) is December 11. CCOF encourages members to consider applying for the program, which may provide significant financial relief for your agricultural business. The CCOF policy team has spoken with multiple members who have benefited from the program and is ready to support members with the application process directly.   In addition to the CFAP resources outlined in our previous blog post, the following resources are newly available, including a CFAP 2...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

CCOF partner, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), is requesting farmer feedback on two initiatives:Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsJustice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Organic Community CCOF supports OTA’s effort to prioritize these initiatives in 2021 and encourages our members to fill out the associated surveys, described in detail below, by the November 30 deadline.  Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsChickens outside, standards for shampoo, and strategies for avoiding GMO contamination are some of the requirements that...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 16, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


sunview

Many of us who spend hours reviewing food labels and packaging can agree upon one thing: there are a lot of words associated with food right now.  We’ve heard it for years. Words like “natural,” “fresh,” or “real” have flooded the food marketplace, leaving consumers anywhere from curious to confused. What is the difference between “natural” and made with “natural ingredients”? Why would one buy a local product versus a low-sodium product? The questions are endless and the answers, elusive. The word “sustainable” is likewise causing confusion as more brands become use it to appeal to growing...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 16, 2020 on general organic

Many opportunities for organic farmers, ranchers, handlers, and processors to participate in public agencies are now available. The hands-on expertise of organic practitioners and producers is of great value to these decision-making agencies. The following agencies have current openings: California Biodiversity Collaborative: California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a groundbreaking executive order in early October 2020 that directs the California Natural Resources Agency to work with other state agencies, including the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), to form a California...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 9, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news

This November, CCOF will launch a survey of our membership in partnership with Washington State University’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC).  It is important to receive responses from a wide range of CCOF-certified businesses, so we encourage as many of our members as possible to submit your survey. Your information and responses will remain confidential; the results will be presented in such a way that no individual’s response can be identified by CCOF.  We are surveying members to learn more about your certified organic businesses and how to improve CCOF services. The...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 9, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic

With its consumers and retailers demanding more sustainable packaging, the produce industry has begun to turn its eye toward sustainable packaging options. Earlier this year, many North American fresh berry producers committed to switching to 100 percent recycle-ready clamshell packaging by 2025.  Farms that sell directly to consumers also see the benefits of sustainable produce packaging. Many organic farms consider the use of recyclable or compostable packaging as aligned with their commitment to maintain and improve natural resources. On October 20, 2020, farmers and representatives from...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, November 9, 2020 on financial assistance, general organic

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has updated the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a federal program that pays farmers who have a documented record of stewardship to tackle additional conservation practices. Some of NRCS’s changes includean emphasis on enhancing soil health,a commitment to soliciting input from State Technical Committees,a one-time payment for developing a comprehensive conservation plan, andsupport and designated organic funds for organic production and organic transitioning activities. California received a sizable boost in CSP funding in 2020,...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, November 9, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic, transition


Amanda Wall

As part of a broader effort to increase organic farming, CCOF has partnered with Anheuser-Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide financial support to farmers during the critical phase of transitioning to organic. We are honored to introduce you to Organic Transition grantee Amanda Wall of PAW Livestock in Pleasantville, Iowa.Wall and her husband Patrick both grew up on diversified farms in the Upper Midwest. Between the two of them, they’ve raised beef cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, alfalfa, grass hay, corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, and rye. They were both...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 9, 2020 on general organic


PrimaWawona-Category-Leadership-Program

Stone fruit is a sought-after treat this time of year, especially as more families prepare meals together at home. Stone fruits can be enjoyed on their own as a snack, or even tossed into a summer salad alongside dark leafy greens, goat cheese, and a touch of fig balsamic vinaigrette. California is the premier producer of stone fruit nationwide, with Imperfect Foods reporting that California produces 95 percent of U.S. nectarines, plums, and apricots. It’s no secret that people all over the world wish to partake in delicious California-grown stone fruit.  Stone fruit provider and CCOF...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, November 9, 2020 on events

Friends of Butte Creek presents the online Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Friday, November 20. Watch beautiful and educational films from the comfort of your home while supporting salmon and their habitat. All donations support Friends of Butte Creek’s restoration efforts on Butte Creek, as well as the water rights endowment for the salmon. The event starts at 6:30 p.m., and your admission to watch the films is good through Thursday, November 26. Visit Friends of Butte Creek for film summaries and information on tickets. 
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 2, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, events


OPN

Since 2017, CCOF has proudly partnered with Matt Seeley and Tonya Antle, co-founders of the Organic Produce Network (OPN), to host the Organic Grower Summit. Typically around this time of year our staff would be hurriedly securing all the last-minute details of the CCOF Foundation’s Annual Benefit Dinner at the summit. Past speakers at this dinner have included Travis Forgues, vice president of farmer relations at Organic Valley, and Jacob Pechenik, co-founder with actress and activist Zooey Deschanel of The Farm Project and Lettuce Grow.These benefit dinners, provided by the Organic Produce...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 2, 2020 on education, farmers markets, organic training institute, webinar


Join the CCOF Foundation on November 17 for a webinar that highlights the innovative ways farms and local food businesses like restaurants, bakeries, and candymakers have joined forces to support each other and pivot marketing in light of COVID-19 restrictions. Unprecedented times call for creative measures. Gain tips from two farms that have partnered with food businesses to expand their marketing and support their communities during the pandemic. In the first half of the webinar, hear about Soil Born Farms’ drive-through farm stand. Started after COVID-19 stay-at-home orders went into...

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