Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

On October 1, 2019 USDA reopened the Origin of Livestock proposed rule for additional comments. The proposed rule was closed by USDA in 2015 without notice but was reopened for a new 60-day comment period. Comments can be submitted until December 2 to Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-11-0009-1572.  CCOF highly encourages members to submit comments on the proposed rule. It is important that both dairies that came under certification before and after the initial 2015 proposed rule submit comments. USDA notes that commenters who submitted comments in 2015 need not to resubmit comment...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

Last week CCOF submitted eight written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their fall 2019 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The meeting will occur Wednesday, October 23, through Friday, October 25.  NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice a year to provide recommendations on substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and the organic standards. At their spring meeting earlier this year, NOSB began their 2021 Sunset Review process and will complete the reviews of the substances in...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

Earlier this year, CCOF Foundation launched the Roadmap to an Organic California project to highlight how organic farming addresses many of California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.    The Benefits Report presented over 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing how organic agriculture positively impacts the economy, society, and the environment. These studies demonstrate that organic farms are combatting climate change by building healthy soils that store...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, policy


Karen Klonsky Ecuador B

Dr. Karen Klonsky spent a lifetime championing organic. The CCOF Foundation will honor her work and spirit at the CCOF Foundation Feast on December 4 at the Organic Grower Summit.  Klonsky was a University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). For 35 years, Klonsky collaborated with both Californian and international agricultural stakeholders. She is said to have had a willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues, bringing a dynamic range of perspectives and unique experiences to offer in...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

The CCOF policy team is in the midst of researching and writing recommendations for the second phase of the Roadmap to an Organic California project. The project presents the research-supported benefits of organic agriculture  and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.  Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in early 2019 and represents a comprehensive scientific review of the economic, social, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

Last week the United States Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020. In the bill, USDA is required to issue the Origin of Livestock rule that incorporates public comments from the proposal rule within 180 days of the bill becoming law. The language matches a House of Representatives bill that passed in June, showing bipartisan congressional support for the rule.  The Origin of Livestock rule was based on six recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board and clarified and amended the requirements for how dairy producers can...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) lawsuit against the USDA over the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule will move to final arguments. After multiple failed attempts by USDA to dismiss the case, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia has confirmed a timeline for final arguments. OTA’s motion for summary judgment will be due on October 18, USDA’s reply is due November 22, OTA will further reply by December 20, and the USDA’s final reply is due on January 17, 2020.  Background on the Lawsuit The 2017 lawsuit alleges that the USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Pittsburgh on October 23-25, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Pittsburgh.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 15, 2019 and October 17, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 3, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in Pittsburgh. Commenters...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


JSM Farm Tour

Last week, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics hosted Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)’s Legislative Assistant Riya Mehta, Melody Meyer of Source Organic, Cassandra Christine of the Organic Trade Association, and CCOF policy staff for a tour of his farm in Royal Oaks, California. Zamora shared his story of success in an increasingly challenging market for small-scale organic growers and highlighted the challenges he and other growers face.  Mehta communicated Congressman Panetta’s continued support for organic and expressed a desire to seek policy support for both current and transitioning...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 23-25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038 until October 3, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy

The Ceres Community Project, a nonprofit that promotes the production of and access to healthy, sustainable food as the foundation of health, released a new report describing their efforts to advance policy and systems change to support a healthy, just, and sustainable world. Ceres provides medically tailored organic meals to families experiencing health crises.  Ceres, a CCOF partner organization, is based in Marin and Sonoma counties in California and is focused on three primary policy and systems change goals:Prove the case for medically tailored meals and other food as medicine...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, August 19, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

On Monday, August 12, CCOF partner organization California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) released a publication that highlights the ongoing challenge of climate change on California farms and calls for farmer-driven solutions.  The publication summarizes research that evaluates current and predicted climate change impacts on California agriculture, including water scarcity and changing precipitation, warming temperatures and extreme heat, pests, disease and weed challenges, and wildfires.  It also highlights on-farm adaptation strategies and policy solutions that can help cultivate...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 17, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, general organic, policy, research

Invoking the challenges American farmers have faced from increased weather extremes, Brise Tencer, the Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), presented testimony last week to the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research during its hearing on Increasing Resiliency, Mitigating Risk: Examining the Research and Extension Needs of Producers. Tencer, who previously served as policy director at CCOF, cited OFRF studies that characterize organic farmers’ research needs. She explained how organic farming practices sequester...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Two CCOF-supported bills to streamline industrial hemp regulations in California have cleared their house of origin. Senator Scott Wilk’s (R-Santa Clarita) Senate Bill (SB) 153 received no opposition votes through the Senate and was voted into the Assembly. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s (D-Winters) Assembly Bill (AB) 228 also did not receive opposition votes through the Assembly and was voted to the Senate. Both bills will now move through the senate and assembly before being sent to the governor’s desk for signature into law. SB 153 revises provisions regulating industrial hemp...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its Fall 2019 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 23-25. The meeting will include updates from various subcommittees, votes to retain or remove substances from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List), and votes on other proposals.  NOSB encourages public comments on proposals that will be discussed and voted on during the meeting. The deadline to submit written comments or requests for oral comment speaking slots is October 3. Opportunities for oral comments will be available via webinar on...

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