Blog posts by general organic

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety, general organic, grower

Join the CCOF Foundation on January 23, 2019 in Pacific Grove, California for the final trainings in our FSMA food safety workshop series. The workshops will be offered in English and Spanish and meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person.  Our January trainings are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm conference. You do not need to...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, December 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is a membership-based business association for the organic community in North America. OTA has a crucial presence in Washington D.C. and is influential in the development of federal organic policies. OTA’s members work together through networking, advocacy, and other initiatives to encourage and protect farming practices and to share the benefits of organic with consumers, media, and policymakers. Working together with OTA allows CCOF to join with other farmers, processors, handlers, and stakeholders to advocate nationally for the organic principles we all...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds.  The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said: “It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) just released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway.  “Research demonstrates that sustainable organic agriculture has...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced proposed rulemaking on updated industrial hemp cultivation regulations for California. The updated regulations establish a registration fee for commercial industrial hemp cultivators and allow for California farmers to begin hemp cultivation.  Written comments will be accepted on the updated regulations until 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments can be submitted to Dean.Kelch@cdfa.ca.gov via email or mailed to: Dean Kelch Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services 1220 N Street Sacramento...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so the GRO Organic Steering Committee...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on general organic, standards

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance documents for farms to comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. FDA will accept public input on the draft guidance, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” at four meetings across the country and in written comments.  The draft guidance includes broad recommendations on how to meet the food safety...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

The National Organic Program (NOP) designed an online training center to provide professional development and continuing education training for organic certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and professionals. The Organic Integrity Learning Center will focus on serving professionals involved in compliance and enforcement roles in organic control systems.  The NOP will debut the system in a virtual town hall on Thursday, November 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. Stakeholders can connect to the town hall two ways: Dial in by Phone Toll-free (United States & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code:...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

This is the last week to purchase tickets for the November 7 food safety workshop in Santa Rosa, California that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person. If you can’t make it to the November 7 workshop, the CCOF Foundation is offering additional workshops in January 2019. These workshops are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Last week, USDA announced it will propose rulemaking on adverse actions appeals process within the national organic standards.  The proposed rule will streamline the appeals process and ensure that the National Organic Program (NOP) can more efficiently stop producers from marketing noncompliant products as organic.  The rulemaking is part of USDA’s broad strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports. In July, NOP hosted a virtual town hall to engage organic stakeholders as they begin the rulemaking process and is focusing on ten topic areas: — Federated organic certificates— Satellite...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is accepting public comments on modified cannabis cultivation regulations until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5. Comments may be submitted to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa.ca.gov or mailed to: Amanda Brown, Regulations CoordinatorCalifornia Department of Food and AgricultureCalCannabis Cultivation Licensing DivisionP.O. Box 942871Sacramento, CA 94271 The proposed changes are in response to comments received to comments received during the notice of proposed rulemaking and hearings conducted in July and August 2018. CCOF submitted public comments on the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

Sponsorship opportunities are available for The Organic Center’s 16th Annual Benefit Dinner on March 6, 2019! Make your commitment now to maximize the return on your sponsorship. This can't-miss event is the biggest all-organic dinner and premier executive-level networking event at Natural Products Expo West. Hundreds of organic visionaries, activists, and businesses come together to enjoy an organic feast and raise money to support the latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming. Your sponsorship supports the critical work of The Organic Center and it...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, member news

Last week, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 25 members to the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Secretary Perdue appointed CCOF members Jeff Huckaby of Cal-Organic Farms, Brian Kirschenmann of Kirschenmann Farms, and Kelly Carl Ely of FreshPoint to the committee. The appointed members will serve two-year terms on the FVIAC. The committee was originally chartered in 2001 to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Committee members represent organic and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is moving forward with a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education program.  OTA led efforts over the past couple years to create a national certified organic marketing order under USDA: GRO Organic. The program was initially proposed by OTA in 2015 and USDA released the proposed rule in 2017. Almost 15,000 public comments were received on the proposed rule. However, this spring USDA unexpectedly terminated the rulemaking process of the program before a referendum vote of all organic producers subject to the program was held. ...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 15, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, food safety, general organic

Does your farm still need a supervisor to take a Produce Safety Alliance (PSA)-approved workshop that meets the FSMA training requirement for produce growers? If so, join the CCOF Foundation in Santa Rosa on November 7 and check the training off your list. Normally, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person, but thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the CCOF Foundation is offering these trainings for $35 per attendee. The ticket price includes course materials, lunch, and certificate fees. During the day-long workshop, trainers will cover...

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