Blog posts by crisis resilience

Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, producer

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is a USDA program that provides direct relief to producers who face economic losses due to COVID-19. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications for CFAP payments through August 28, 2020. According to USDA statistics, billions of dollars are still available for distribution to eligible applicants. Growers can apply online or download an application and fill it in. Detailed information on eligible crops, payment rates, and how to apply is on the CFAP website. USDA has added several previously ineligible commodities to the CFAP...
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 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 Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, general organic


photo courtesy of Dawn Heumann for Straus Family Creamery

Photo courtesy of Dawn Heumann for Straus Family Creamery @dawnheumann When asked about how California dairy provider Straus Family Creamery continues to keep their organic producers protected during unprecedented market volatility and consumer purchasing patterns, President Bob McGee responded by saying, “My boss is an organic dairy farmer.” Lucky for their loyal network of consumers, the first-hand perspective of Straus founder and CEO, Albert Straus, influences everything they do as a company. While dairy producers across the country are dumping milk due to hotel and restaurant closures,...
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 Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

Applications opened last week for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP is a USDA program that will provide $16 billion in direct aid to farmers who suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications and payments will be processed through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  CCOF recognizes that this program has structural flaws that will prevent many of our members from accessing desperately-needed financial relief. We are working to advocate for improvements to this program. If you would like to contact us about your experience with CFAP, please email us at policy@...
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...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted unique responses by federal, state, and local governments. This legislative update provides a brief snapshot of some key state and federal policy areas CCOF is monitoring.  USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program On Thursday, May 14, USDA hosted a webinar to introduce producers to the application process for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The webinar recording can be viewed via Zoom. USDA has said that it will release applications soon. The CFAP website has initial instructions to prepare producers to apply, including contacting your local...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, help and tips, marketing, survey

Farmers are currently facing unprecedented challenges as supply chains quickly and radically change. Our local food systems can be strengthened by building consumer awareness of local farms using sustainable growing practices. Healthy PlanEat is a new online platform for farmers using sustainable growing practices to sell directly to local customers so people can have a healthy and sustainable diet. The platform enables farmers to create their own page, upload inventory, set distribution options, and manage incoming orders from individuals and wholesale buyers. The platform will be launched...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance

Producers new to Farm Service Agency programs are encouraged to participate in this webinar.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).This webinar is an opportunity for producers to learn about the general application process and required documentation prior to the official beginning of signup. Producers interested in...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, general organic, we are essential


We Are Essential 051120

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that families value high quality, organic food. While the impact of COVID-19 on food and agriculture has been uneven across sectors, the demand for some types of organic processed foods, such as pre-cut vegetable assortments and pantry staples, has increased as families search for healthy options while saying at home.  Beyond the health benefits, organic processed foods are an important part of California’s economy. The California Department of Public Health recently reported that organic processors made $15.5 billion in gross sales in 2019, a 17 percent...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 4, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, general organic, we are essential


we are essential

“We Are Essential” is a blog series that explores how the organic community is navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our farms, ranches, and businesses deliver truly essential services, staying open and in the field to provide food to our communities. Each week, we will share a new story that highlights how organic is critical to the global response. We welcome hearing how you are impacted and invite you to email us at policy@ccof.org. We also have a list of crisis resilience resources to help you weather the COVID-19 pandemic.   Growing food during the COVID-19 pandemic is a gift...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 4, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic

As of Monday, May 4, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will now accept new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program exclusively from agricultural producers. During the first round of funding, SBA prohibited agricultural producers from applying for relief. While the current round of funding includes agricultural producers as eligible applicants, SBA has been processing applications left over from the previous round.  The EIDL program offers loan advances of up to $10,000 for businesses experiencing a loss in revenue due to COVID-19. These loans will not need to...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 4, 2020 on crisis resilience, general organic

On Wednesday, April 29, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an expansion of the Farm to Family program, a collaboration between the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB). The program, which facilitates donations of excess produce from California farms to food banks, is expected to support more than 20 million pounds of produce donations in the coming months. Newsom’s announcement highlighted $3.6 million in funds the state has already raised from a combination of USDA grants and philanthropic donations. The campaign...

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