Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy


(L to R) Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance; Patricia Carrillo, ALBA; Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas); Dave Runsten, Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Peter Nell, CCOF   In early March, CCOF joined coalition members of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) in Sacramento to advocate for California’s climate-smart agriculture programs. Attendees met with California legislators, staff members, and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross to discuss how agricultural programs can help California achieve climate goals and to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Organic Week is an annual event that brings the organic sector to Washington D.C. for a week of conferences, meetings with legislators, and more.   CCOF’s top priority at this year’s Organic Week is Hill Visit Day—an event that brings organic farmers, ranchers, handlers, processors, organizations, and others into the offices and meeting rooms of Capitol Hill to advocate for organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.    Organic Week also includes the Organic Center’s two day Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brings together a diverse group of organic...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, policy, regulatory

In light of California’s new recreational cannabis cultivation and sales allowances, some organic producers are considering adding cannabis cultivation to their operations. However, producers should be aware that USDA has a long-standing policy regarding cannabis production, which could impact grower’s eligibility for a range of USDA programs including Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and crop insurance.    USDA staff cannot provide technical assistance to cannabis producers and producers with conservation contracts with NRCS who are growing cannabis...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

The Organic Trade Association wants its day in court. The association on Wednesday requested that oral arguments be heard on its lawsuit against the USDA over the department's failure to put into effect new organic livestock standards. The request comes as the case is gaining significant momentum and as more organic businesses and stakeholders take action and speak out in support of the lawsuit.   Since the filing of the lawsuit, a host of organic stakeholders representing thousands of organic farming families, organic certifiers, and organic policymakers—along with leading animal welfare and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory


DC

From left to right: Karen Archipley (Archi's Acres), Victor Cortes and Veronica Cortes (ALBA farmers certified organic by CCOF), Rep. Jim Costa, Wes King (NSAC), Jane Sooby (CCOF), and Gerardo Fuentes (farm incubator director, ALBA).    Just in time to contribute suggestions to the 2018 Farm Bill currently being written by the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the national advocacy group National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) invited CCOF-certified farmers and staff to fly to Washington D.C., to visit key Congressional offices and tell their stories about...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 26, 2018 on advocacy, funding, grants, policy

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) introduced a bill into the California State Assembly, AB-2377, to establish a technical assistance grant program for farmers and ranchers applying for California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs. The technical assistance grants will address the difficulty in designing, applying for, and implementing projects for the programs.   The bill requires CDFA to provide funding to technical assistance providers, such as resource conservation districts or nonprofit organizations, to assist farmers and ranchers applying to the Healthy Soils Program,...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, State Organic Program

CCOF encourages the organic community to complete the California State Organic Program (SOP) survey. The survey will help SOP develop new communication and marketing tools.   The survey will guide the SOP on how to create and publish new messaging. The survey gathers information such as what participants know about the program, what they would like to see from the program, and where’d they like to see new information published.    For questions regarding the survey, please contact the SOP.
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

Judith Redmond introduces Dave Runsten at 38th annual EcoFarm Conference   At the 38th annual EcoFarm Conference in late January, we were thrilled to see Dave Runsten, policy director at the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), receive a Steward of Sustainable Agriculture (“Sustie”) award. According to the Ecological Farming Association, the award honors “those special people who have been actively and critically involved in ecologically sustainable agriculture and who have demonstrated their long term, significant contributions to the well-being of agriculture and the planet.”  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, regulatory, water


Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted requirements for commercial and personal medical use cannabis cultivation. The requirements—the Cannabis Cultivation Policy—aim to reduce impacts from discharges of waste and water diversions.    The Cannabis Cultivation Policy is available online. The policy should be referenced by cannabis cultivators who divert surface water to irrigate cannabis or plan to.    Licensed cannabis cultivators must register with the State Water Board under one or two cannabis cultivation regulatory programs. Applications for the State Water Board...
Written by Madelaine Baer on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy


The CCOF team (including our office dogs!) are often clad head to toe in Patagonia gear. Patagonia is a company that we are proud to support given their commitment to using organic materials and food.    Patagonia is also a Visionary member of the CCOF Foundation, which works to advance organic agriculture for a healthy world. With their support, the CCOF Foundation runs a range of programs to support new and existing organic producers and to educate consumers about the importance of organic agriculture.    Patagonia is also a key partner in launching a new initiative: The Roadmap to an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 12, 2018 on policy

CCOF applauds the growing bipartisan support for organic agriculture research in both chambers of Congress, including the broad support for organic research from California members of the House.    Yesterday, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2018. This bill increases federal investment in the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, which funds organic agricultural research throughout the United States.    This bill compliments the House Organic Agriculture Research Act (H.R. 2436), which has a strong showing...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 29, 2018 on policy, regulatory

California is the leading agricultural state in the country, and we are proud of the products that are grown and produced here. The laws and regulations that are in place protect consumers, producers, handlers, processors, and retailers by establishing standards for agricultural products and foods that are labeled and/or sold as organic.   The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) State Organic Program (SOP) is always seeking effective and efficient ways to protect and promote growth of the organic industry. That means continuously reviewing regulations to ensure they align...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy, regulatory, standards

Last week, CCOF submitted a comment to USDA opposing the agency’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule. CCOF also joined 80 other organic producers, retailers, organizations, certifiers, farm groups, and consumer organizations in an open letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue urging him to implement the rule.    The OLPP rule is the result of decades of rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and members of the organic community. The rule ensures that organic animals live in pasture-based systems, establishes minimum indoor and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 22, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The State Water Board postponed deliberation of its updated agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed to February 7, when it will consider adoption of the order.   Otherwise known as waste discharge requirements, agricultural orders regulate discharges from irrigated lands, such as sediments, pesticides, and nitrates. The Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed draft order was originally proposed in February 2016. In response to extensive public comment and formal petitions for review, the Water Board released a second draft order in October 2017 that was slated for...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, standards

The comment period on USDA’s proposal to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP) ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on January 17, 2018.    Comment now to protect organic standards!   OLPP is the product of a lengthy rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities, and access to the outdoors.    However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA has...

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