Blog posts by advocacy

CCOF is continuing our services with our staff working safely from home. Although response times may be slower, we are here to support you. We welcome new applications to join the CCOF-certified family. Visit our Crisis Resilience page for updates and crisis resilience resources.
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Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

The Farmer Equity Act passed by the California legislature in 2017 defined “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” and required the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to ensure that food and agriculture laws, policies, and programs be developed in consultation with socially disadvantaged and women farmers and ranchers. CDFA recently issued the 2020 Report to the California Legislature on the Farmer Equity Act on progress to date in implementing the Farmer Equity Act. Using data based on stakeholder and agency interviews, the report identifies four primary challenges...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, July 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The National Young Farmers Coalition is now accepting applications for the newly created California Young Farmer Political Leadership Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to support young farmers in gaining positions in and influence on California policy boards, agricultural advocacy groups, local water districts, conservation districts, and other decision-making bodies. Young farmers who identify as being a part of a community that has been marginalized by policy-making such as Black, Indigenous, or other People of Color are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the National...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, general organic

California’s newly approved 2020-2021 budget bears almost no resemblance to its rosy origins back in January, as we continue to weather the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is one bright spot in the otherwise mixed outlook: the legislature approved Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to create a $10 million California Farm-to-School program, which includes about $8.5 million in school grants as well as $1.5 million for sustained staffing at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Office of Farm to Fork to implement the program in the...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, June 29, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

When COVID-19 struck, farmers were already facing significant challenges. Low prices combined with rising production costs, labor shortages, and climate change impacts resulted in 58 percent of California’s farms operating with net losses in 2017. Today, organic farmers and businesses are working around the clock to adjust to new conditions. CCOF compiled this overview based on agricultural and market research and qualitative data from a sample of CCOF producers, processors, and businesses (30 chapter leaders and 192 survey responses). Please let us know if we have missed your experience at...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 29, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, marketing

If there has been anything I have learned from experiencing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic these past few months, it is how amazing my farming community has been in rising up to meet the needs of their community and supporting each other. We make up truly important, interconnected food webs within the local food shed. We may grow different crops, but we all have a strong work ethic and the desire to feed people local food. I believe it is crucial that we see our farmer peers not as competition, but as collaborators working towards the same goal. There is plenty to go around. We are...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released proposed regulations for the OCal program. The OCal program will be a statewide certification program to certify cannabis under a program based on the National Organic Program (NOP). Currently, federal laws prevent the certification of cannabis under the NOP and the labeling of cannabis as organic.  CDFA is seeking public comments on the proposed regulations until July 7, 2020. Read the proposed regulations and submit a comment. The CCOF Policy team is developing detailed comments on the proposed rule. We will urge CDFA to...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, livestock, policy

CCOF invites all organic livestock producers to share experiences, challenges, and needs related to organic livestock production, from market barriers to difficulties accessing certified organic processing plants, other infrastructure needs, and beyond. The CCOF Policy Team is researching solutions to top issues facing livestock producers, and we want to hear from you! We know that organic livestock producers are critical stewards of pasture and rangelands across the U.S. and that producers also face many unique challenges. Please email us at policy@ccof.org or call 415-346-6223 to share your...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, general organic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a temporary guidance on the requirements that farms must meet to be considered qualified exempt under the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is important for small farms to be aware of if you have less than $561,494 in gross food sales annually (adjusted for inflation and averaged over the last three years), as your farm may be eligible for a partial exemption from the FSMA, if your farm meets one other criteria.  The other criteria is what the law refers to as sales to a “qualified end user.” Farms that sell at least 50...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing four vacancies on the Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board (FIAB) Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). This subcommittee serves as an expert scientific panel on matters concerning plant nutrition and environmental effects related to fertilizing materials use. It reviews all research and education proposals for the annual Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) grant program and recommends to FIAB which projects should receive funding. Applicants must demonstrate technical, applied, and scientific expertise in the...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic


Uncertainty. Worry. Fear. Concern. Holding the fort down. Struggle. Due to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruption, health concerns, and financial burdens, these anxieties have landed on the hearts of many in the agricultural community. The people running these businesses need more than financial support; they need resources to manage the exponential mental stress they face every day from the uncertainty of how their businesses may fare. The topic of mental health is still largely unaddressed in the United States farming community, with a “pick...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


If you’ve been reading the CCOF E-Newsletter for a while, you’re likely familiar with the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has given more than $600,000 directly to students and teachers who are inspired to study organic. 100% of donations to the fund are given directly to the next generation of organic farmers and producers, made possible with the generosity of households, businesses, and foundations across the country.  Covilli Brand Organics was one of the Fund’s original Champion-level supporters in 2014, part of a group...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic


Black Lives Matter

Dear CCOF Family,  The unjust killing and systemic oppression of Black lives transcends politics—it speaks to the deepest core of our humanity.  We are deeply disturbed by the unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Dreasjon Reed, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and David McAtee. We understand that these are the most recent tragedies, and countless Black lives have been lost to racist violence in the United States.  Like all predominantly white communities, CCOF must grapple with its own role in systemic racism. Our agriculture and food systems are built on a history of racism,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, events, general organic, policy, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Water Board) has released a draft Agricultural Order 4.0 to take the place of the existing order, which expires January 31, 2021. The Central Coast Water Board will hold three virtual workshops on June 2, June 3, and June 4 to explain the new Agricultural Order, review its monitoring and reporting requirements, and provide information about the draft environmental impact report. Links to join each workshop are listed below.  The workshops will be broadcast via Zoom, which may be accessed via computer or telephone. Attendees...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


I sat down with Farm to Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to discuss why organic matters with him. We dove right into CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, a first-of-its-kind research project that investigates how organic is a solution to California’s toughest challenges. From the climate crisis to economic and health inequities, I walked Wasson through organic’s role in addressing these issues, and more. Let’s consider climate change, for example. We know that organic farms combat climate change because they build healthy soils that store carbon and reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic

If you—or an organic producer you know—have experienced hardship during the 2020 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance through the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. The application deadline is midnight on Monday, May 25, 2020.   Throughout the nation, farmers are experiencing severe economic losses as the results of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather patterns, an increase in duration and number of natural disasters, and other financial challenges. Now, more than ever, organic producers need access to immediate and long-term financial support to prepare for and...

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