Blog posts by Noah Lakritz

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, October 19, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, resources

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is now accepting applications for the second round of funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) through December 11, 2020. CFAP 2 features a new payment structure and simplified application process that will likely benefit many organic producers, including those ineligible and those that qualified for little relief in the first round of funding. Farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for CFAP 2 regardless of whether they received a payment from the first round of CFAP funding. In addition to increased payments for many commodities,...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on general organic

The Agricultural Council of California is providing a video developed with the California Department of Public Health to address topics outside normal employee safety issues surrounding COVID-19. This Spanish language video provides safety practices guidelines to reduce COVID-19 spread outside of the workplace. The video is intended for farmworkers and employees of food processing plants. Topics include, but are not limited to: the impacts of COVID-19 in the Latinx communityhow to safely commute in shared transportationkeeping COVID-19 germs out of the househow to protect families when...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on general organic

El Consejo Agrícola ofreció un video desarrollado con CDPH para abordar temas fuera de los problemas normales de seguridad de los empleados relacionados con el COVID-19. Este video en Español proporciona guias de prácticas de seguridad para reducir la propagación del COVID-19 fuera del lugar de trabajo. El video está dirigido a trabajadores agrícolas y empleados de plantas procesadoras de alimentos. Los temas incluyen, pero no se limitan a: los impactos del COVID-19 en la comunidad Latinacómo viajar de forma segura en transporte compartidomantener los gérmenes del COVID-19 fuera de la...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 28, 2020 on crisis resilience, policy, resources

The USDA announced a second round of funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP 2 will provide $14 billion in additional direct payments to farmers and ranchers. This new round of includes substantive changes from the first round, some of which may benefit organic producers:Compensation for losses experienced from April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 (or from April 16 for livestock)Additional price loss based payments for commodity crops covered by the first round of CFAPA new fixed $15/acre payment for many grains, oilseed, and hemp crops that were not previously...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 21, 2020 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their virtual fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, are approaching! We encourage members of the organic community to submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items. Read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews). Handling Substances:KaolinSodium bicarbonateWaxes - nonsynthetic (Wood resin)Ammonium bicarbonate -...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 on general organic, NOP, policy

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) released an official proposed rule for Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). The proposed changes will constitute the most significant changes to organic regulations since the creation of the NOP.  Among other changes, the proposed rule will:Reduce the types of uncertified entities in the organic supply chain (importers, brokers, traders)Require the use of NOP Import Certificates for all organic products entering the United StatesClarify NOP oversight of certification activities, including that NOP oversight extends to the actions of any person...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 on advocacy, financial assistance, general organic

California state legislative leaders and California Governor Gavin Newsom are considering how the state can assist communities in recovering from the coronavirus pandemic. As these conversations get underway, it is essential to promote food and agriculture as solutions to economic recovery. One of the ways the state can easily invest in California agriculture is through CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program. The program has been increasingly popular with the state’s farmers and ranchers, including organic farmers and ranchers. The Healthy Soils Program turns farm-based climate solutions into rural...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, NOP

The Policy Team and Certification staff are gearing up for the release of proposed changes to the National Organic Program (NOP). While the official rule, called the Strengthening Organic Enforcement proposed rule, is not out yet, the NOP has released a pre-published draft and other resources on their website. OTA has also compiled a 10 page summary. We expect the proposed rule to:Reduce the types of uncertified entities in the organic supply chain (importers, brokers, traders)Require the use of NOP Import Certificates for all organic products entering the United StatesClarify NOP oversight...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, producer

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is a USDA program that provides direct relief to producers who face economic losses due to COVID-19. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications for CFAP payments through August 28, 2020. According to USDA statistics, billions of dollars are still available for distribution to eligible applicants. Growers can apply online or download an application and fill it in. Detailed information on eligible crops, payment rates, and how to apply is on the CFAP website. USDA has added several previously ineligible commodities to the CFAP...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, July 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The National Young Farmers Coalition is now accepting applications for the newly created California Young Farmer Political Leadership Fellowship. The fellowship is designed to support young farmers in gaining positions in and influence on California policy boards, agricultural advocacy groups, local water districts, conservation districts, and other decision-making bodies. Young farmers who identify as being a part of a community that has been marginalized by policy-making such as Black, Indigenous, or other People of Color are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the National...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) released proposed regulations for the OCal program. The OCal program will be a statewide certification program to certify cannabis under a program based on the National Organic Program (NOP). Currently, federal laws prevent the certification of cannabis under the NOP and the labeling of cannabis as organic.  CDFA is seeking public comments on the proposed regulations until July 7, 2020. Read the proposed regulations and submit a comment. The CCOF Policy team is developing detailed comments on the proposed rule. We will urge CDFA to...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

Applications opened last week for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP is a USDA program that will provide $16 billion in direct aid to farmers who suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications and payments will be processed through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  CCOF recognizes that this program has structural flaws that will prevent many of our members from accessing desperately-needed financial relief. We are working to advocate for improvements to this program. If you would like to contact us about your experience with CFAP, please email us at policy@...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The COVID-19 crisis has prompted unique responses by federal, state, and local governments. This legislative update provides a brief snapshot of some key state and federal policy areas CCOF is monitoring.  USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program On Thursday, May 14, USDA hosted a webinar to introduce producers to the application process for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The webinar recording can be viewed via Zoom. USDA has said that it will release applications soon. The CFAP website has initial instructions to prepare producers to apply, including contacting your local...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 18, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

Organic researchers need your help in identifying the challenges that certified organic producers and transitioning organic producers face. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), and the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) created surveys that will help set their research priorities.  Certified organic farmers and ranchers can take the organic survey here:https://www.opinion.wsu.edu/organicproduction/. Farmers and ranchers who are transitioning to organic certification can take the transition survey here: https://www.opinion.wsu.edu/...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 4, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic

As of Monday, May 4, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will now accept new applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program exclusively from agricultural producers. During the first round of funding, SBA prohibited agricultural producers from applying for relief. While the current round of funding includes agricultural producers as eligible applicants, SBA has been processing applications left over from the previous round.  The EIDL program offers loan advances of up to $10,000 for businesses experiencing a loss in revenue due to COVID-19. These loans will not need to...

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