CCOF Blog

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, September 16, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, services

Is your produce farm subject to a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspection, but you aren’t quite sure what to expect? Do you have questions about FSMA compliance, but don’t know who to ask?  Join the CCOF Foundation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on September 24 for a webinar that reviews how the FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection process works in California, as well as shares FSMA resources for organic produce growers. CDFA has started its FSMA inspections of produce farms. Produce...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, drought, financial assistance, general organic, help and tips

Enrollment for the USDA Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) began on September 11, 2019. More than $3 billion is available for producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Producers in 29 California counties are eligible for relief, including prevented planting payments for those unable to plant eligible crops in 2019. Crops that qualify for federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage are eligible for the WHIP+ program.  Consult the list of counties eligible for 2018 and/or 2019 relief. Read more about program eligibility...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) lawsuit against the USDA over the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule will move to final arguments. After multiple failed attempts by USDA to dismiss the case, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia has confirmed a timeline for final arguments. OTA’s motion for summary judgment will be due on October 18, USDA’s reply is due November 22, OTA will further reply by December 20, and the USDA’s final reply is due on January 17, 2020.  Background on the Lawsuit The 2017 lawsuit alleges that the USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education


Valent CCOF

We study, we practice, and we hope to find success in our chosen fields. For those working in organic agriculture, those fields are both literal and figurative.  After the initial elation—and subsequent shock—of starting your organic farming business, comes the day-to-day tasks. Gone are the days of acquiring permits from the county and spending day in and day out trying to get your business off the ground. You have launched. Your modus operandi has made a sudden and dramatic shift. You’re selling at farmers’ markets, your products have been picked up by retailers, and your business starts to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Pittsburgh on October 23-25, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Pittsburgh.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 15, 2019 and October 17, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 3, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in Pittsburgh. Commenters...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic

The deadline is coming up to apply for a seat on CCOF’s Certification Services, LLC Committee. This is your chance to contribute to the organic community. CCOF members, this is your opportunity to help us recruit someone you trust to oversee your certification business! Applications are due October 11. The CCOF Board of Directors is seeking applications from individuals for appointment to the LLC Management Committee, which they will review at their November meeting. The LLC Management Committee is appointed by the board and has the responsibility to control and manage the business and...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, event, general organic

Santa Cruz local and author Jonathan Franzen presented the keynote talk at CCOF member the Homeless Garden Project’s August 24 Sustain Supper. You can now read his speech in The New Yorker! About the Homeless Garden Project, he said, "In Santa Cruz, where I live, there’s an organization called the Homeless Garden Project. [. . .] It can’t 'solve' the problem of homelessness, but it’s been changing lives, one at a time, for nearly thirty years. Supporting itself in part by selling organic produce, it contributes more broadly to a revolution in how we think about people in need, the land we...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


JSM Farm Tour

Last week, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics hosted Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)’s Legislative Assistant Riya Mehta, Melody Meyer of Source Organic, Cassandra Christine of the Organic Trade Association, and CCOF policy staff for a tour of his farm in Royal Oaks, California. Zamora shared his story of success in an increasingly challenging market for small-scale organic growers and highlighted the challenges he and other growers face.  Mehta communicated Congressman Panetta’s continued support for organic and expressed a desire to seek policy support for both current and transitioning...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 23-25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038 until October 3, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on biodiversity, general organic, grants, pests and pesticides

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program (BIFS) and its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions Program, administered by the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis. Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program Grants The goal of BIFS is to fund on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative biologically-based farming systems that employ IPM strategies. CDFA is responsible for supporting agricultural production in California by fostering innovative, efficient,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, August 26, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, events, funding, general organic


CCOF Foundation Feast

Monterey calls organic growers near and far this coming winter for the Organic Grower Summit on December 4 and 5. Alongside holiday décor and the sounds of seagulls, seals, and soil health discussions, the CCOF Foundation will once again host its annual benefit dinner on December 4, 2019. A three-course certified organic meal, live music, and powerful keynote speakers await you and your colleagues.  Secure seats for you and your team by registering for the CCOF Foundation Feast at the Organic Grower Summit website today! Space is limited. Each ticket sold will directly benefit the CCOF...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 19, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, standards

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections started this year for large produce farms in California and across the United States. Smaller produce farms will be subject to FSMA inspections in coming years.  If you are still wrapping your head around what FSMA means for your produce farm, the CCOF Foundation’s webinar library hosts a thorough collection of FSMA and food safety webinar recordings. Often hosted in collaboration with Community Alliance of Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild, these webinars present food safety in a manner accessible to growers and agricultural professionals. ...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, August 19, 2019 on CCOF, farmers markets, general organic, marketing

Use our sturdy "CCOF Certified Organic" signs to promote your certified organic status at farmers' markets, organic processing facilities, your farm gate, and more, or use them as fence markers for your organic fields. Now available double-sided, you can show off your organic status from all angles! Only $40 per sign—get one while supplies last.  Signs are also available in single-sided large, small, and mini sizes. The small and mini sizes are great for identifying organic bins and products at farmers’ markets. Organic enthusiasts are looking for the CCOF sign, so make sure yours is on...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy

The Ceres Community Project, a nonprofit that promotes the production of and access to healthy, sustainable food as the foundation of health, released a new report describing their efforts to advance policy and systems change to support a healthy, just, and sustainable world. Ceres provides medically tailored organic meals to families experiencing health crises.  Ceres, a CCOF partner organization, is based in Marin and Sonoma counties in California and is focused on three primary policy and systems change goals:Prove the case for medically tailored meals and other food as medicine...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

On Monday, August 12, CCOF partner organization California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) released a publication that highlights the ongoing challenge of climate change on California farms and calls for farmer-driven solutions.  The publication summarizes research that evaluates current and predicted climate change impacts on California agriculture, including water scarcity and changing precipitation, warming temperatures and extreme heat, pests, disease and weed challenges, and wildfires.  It also highlights on-farm adaptation strategies and policy solutions that can help cultivate...

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