On Thursday, May 5, 2022, CCOF hosted California State Senator Eggman and Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry for an important discussion around organic transition.
We were joined by more than 30 leaders from organic farms, businesses, and partner organizations for a farm tour, lunch, and discussion about all that it takes to become certified organic. The event took place at the Lucas Winery & Vineyard in Lodi, California—an 18-acre, family-owned operation that has had several acres certified by CCOF since 2009.
CCOF’s goal in bringing policymakers, partners, and farmers together was to share a meal and hear directly from organic farmers. Heather Pyle and Eliza Hess with Lucas Winery shared about their motivation for becoming certified organic, some of the challenges beginning farmers face, and what organic means for the next generation of farmers. Next, we heard Joanna Normoyle from CCOF-certified Orchard X talk about how a cash crop can be volatile and about supporting underserved farmers to weather the economic challenges of pest cycles and hold onto their farms.
This discussion takes place in the context of AB 2499, a bill CCOF is advancing to provide underserved farmers with financial and technical assistance to transition to organic. In addition to making organic certification an accessible option, this bill requires a statewide market analysis of the organic sector to help current and future farmers understand the market landscape.
Thank you to all the partner organizations, farmers, and organic advocates that joined us last week for this important conversation. A special thank you goes to our generous hosts at the Lucas Winery.