Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 22, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The deadline for nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! USDA is seeking:– An environmental protection and resource conservation expert– An organic farmer representative– An organic retailer– Two organic handlers  Nominations must be submitted by May 17, 2019 and include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly subcommittee conference calls, review materials and/...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 22, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

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 that the GRO Organic Steering...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 8, 2019 on employment, general organic, policy


checklist

Are you a farmer who needs seasonal or temporary workers for planting, cultivating, or harvesting crops? The H-2A temporary agricultural workers program–often called the H-2A Visa Program–helps American farmers who anticipate a lack of available domestic workers fill employment gaps by hiring workers from other countries. With the new Checklist Tool, participating in the Program is now easier than ever. H-2A Visa Checklist ToolThe interactive H-2A Visa Checklist Tool is the latest addition to the farmers.gov website. While interest in the H-2A Visa Program grows each year, farmers often find...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on general organic, NOSB, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The deadline to submit nominations is May 17, 2019. Nominations must include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership which includes having a general understanding of organic principles, practical experience in the organic community, demonstrated experience in the development of public policy, participation in standard development, and more. NOSB members are volunteers who are appointed by USDA for five-year terms....
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 18, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on April 24-26, 2019, in Seattle, Washington.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-18-0071-0001 until April 4, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB will discuss and complete preliminary reviews for each substance in Seattle before voting...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, policy

It’s time to put organic food on more kids’ plates, and the California legislature may be willing to help. California Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s new bill, AB 958, will create the first-ever Organic-to-School pilot program. The pilot program will help qualifying school districts purchase organic food, offering up to 15 cents per meal. If successful, the bill will bring more organic food to California’s schools, which is great for the health of our children, a win for climate, and a boost for innovative farming communities growing food without toxic pesticides. California is the...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its second annual meeting in Seattle, Washington on April 24-26, 2019. The board will vote to retain or remove substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and will also vote on proposals and discussion documents.  The deadline to submit written comments is April 4, 2019. Commenting will open when the meeting materials are released (approximately six weeks before the meeting). The deadline to submit oral comments via webinar or in person in Washington is also April 4, 2019. Registration for the oral comments...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, policy


California Harvesters, Inc.

On February 26 and 27, hundreds of CCOF members will meet in Fresno, California for the 2019 CCOF Annual Meeting & Conference. In addition to bidding farewell to retired CEO, Cathy Calfo; welcoming CCOF’s new CEO, Kelly Damewood; and celebrating the work of the CCOF Foundation; participants will come together to discuss the latest opportunities and issues facing organic. One area that will be discussed is the need to maintain a strong organic labor force.  CCOF will joined by Sara Neagu-Reed of the California Farm Bureau Federation, Jenny Ramirez of California Harvesters, Inc., and Kenton...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule proposed to allow elemental sulfur for use as a molluscicide, add polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases, and reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient in organic handling.Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until April 16, 2019, via www.regulations.gov under Docket Number AMS-NOP-18- 0051.Proposed reclassification of magnesium chloride as nonsyntheticMagnesium chloride derived from sea water is currently listed at §...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 11, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

The members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) elected new leadership at their meeting during the annual EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, California. The committee elected Karen Archipley of Archi’s Acres as chair of the committee and Jeremy Johnson of Traditional Medicinals as vice chair. COPAC is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic agriculture and issues related to organic production. COPAC’s 15 members and 15 alternate members represent organic producers, wholesalers, technical representatives,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, NOP, policy


Farm Bill

In late December, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. Crucially, the farm bill includes provisions to authorize and fund the National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), and other organic programs. CCOF and our members worked hard to build support for organic priorities in the farm bill throughout 2018. The 2014 Farm Bill expired in September 2018 without a replacement bill. However, Congress successfully pushed for the passage of the farm bill during the lame-duck session, the period after elections but before the new...
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 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 Monday, November 19, 2018 on marketing, policy

USDA implemented the new California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) on November 1, 2018. FMMOs are voluntary, industry-driven marketing initiatives that establish the terms of trade between farmers and the first buyer of milk. FMMOs also develop minimum milk prices based on market values with respect to supply and demand conditions. California dairy producers voted to approve the FMMO in June 2018. The order required at least a two-thirds vote from all dairy producers in California.  California organic producers are not exempted from the FMMO. Organic producers are exempted from some...

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