Blog posts by policy

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...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy

One of the greatest challenges facing organic growers today is the uncertainty and severe shortages in the agricultural workforce. For this reason, CCOF is calling on California Congressional leadership to work toward immigration reform that includes the following guiding principles:  First and foremost, legislation should create a viable means for the current unauthorized, experienced agricultural workforce to legally work in U.S. agriculture.   Additionally, a guestworker program could also provide much needed support to help meet the current shortages in the agricultural workforce. The...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) will hold five public licensing workshops in the first quarter of 2018. The workshops are free and open to the public and will provide resources and information regarding state commercial cannabis licensing.    Each workshop will include a brief overview and thorough information from BCC and other state and local agencies regarding cannabis licensing. The workshops will be scheduled to run from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.   January 22, 2018 – Monterey   Monterey Conference Center 1 Portola Plaza Monterey, CA 93940   January 25, 2018 – Santa Ana  ...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

CalCannabis is now accepting applications for annual licenses of commercial cannabis cultivators, nurseries, and processors. Applications are accepted and completed online through CalCannabis’ online portal.    The online portal will accept applications for annual and temporary licenses. A temporary license is valid for 120 days and allows for operations to operate while their annual license applications are being processed.   CalCannabis and the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) host regular licensing workshops to assist members of the public with the application process. Applicants can also...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.   Originally set to be fully implemented earlier this year, USDA under the current administration already has delayed implementation three times and now proposes to withdraw the rule on the premise that it exceeds USDA’s statutory authority.   CCOF...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, cost share, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) issued an action alert calling on organic advocates to urge their elected officials to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (Cost Share) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA).  CCOF highly encourages the organic community to rally in support of Cost Share and to follow the steps outlined in NOC’s action alert.  Cost Share is one of the few federal assistance programs that offers specific support to organic producers. The program provides organic producers with a reimbursement of up to $750 of their annual...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events, policy, water

The California State Water Board will host workshops across the state to assist cannabis cultivators with the enrollment process of the Cannabis General Order (General Waste Discharge Requirements and Waiver for Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities) and to obtain water rights under the Cannabis Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR) program.   Each workshop is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. with the following agenda:  Policy Overview 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Break for Lunch (on your own) 12:00 – 1:00 p.m...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 11, 2017 on member news, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently announced awards to 12 CCOF-certified organic farms through the CDFA Healthy Soils Program.    The Healthy Soils Program is an incentives program that funds climate-smart farming practices, which are practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Demonstration program recipients will implement conservation practices and convene public events to share outcomes with the community.   For the 2017 grant cycle, CDFA awarded $5.23 million to 86 recipients, including 12 CCOF-certified farms. Awardees will...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The California State Water Board is accepting comment on a second draft of the agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed through Friday, December 22, 2017, at noon.    CCOF strongly encourages organic growers from all regions of California to comment because this order will likely be replicated throughout the state. The requirements in the order could have significant costs and impacts for all growers because they will be required to report a large amount of detailed information annually, including data on nitrogen applications and crop yields.   What Is an Agricultural...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities and regulators released their emergency regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ahead of the January 1, 2018 legalization of cannabis.   The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the lead agency in developing regulations. Their regulations cover the licensing of retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses. BCC’s fact sheet includes licensing information, requirements by license type, testing lab requirements, enforcement information, and more.    CDFA’s CalCannabis is responsible for the licensing of cultivation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy

  Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) meets with farmer Leslie Cooperband, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition    Last week, farmers from across the nation descended upon Washington, DC for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) first 2018 Farm Bill “fly-in”. NSAC’s farmer fly-ins provide farmers and farm/food advocates with the opportunity to speak directly with decision makers in Congress about the issues that most affect their lives, businesses, and communities. On November 8th, NSAC held our first of several fly-ins focused on...

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