CCOF Blog

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2020 on


Farm cat

The bright spot in coronavirus-and-smoke summer was the surprise appearance of a feline family in our backyard. The first things I noticed about Nefertiti were her wide, crazy-looking eyes and her boldness; she came right up to the door and craned her neck to look in, even putting a paw in the sliding doorways of the living room and my brother’s bedroom on a couple of occasions. She seemed wilder than the two orange cats who had visited the prior two summertimes since I had moved to Pinole, a small city with a semirural feel in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. I soon recognized...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 7, 2020 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic


Gather

Join the CCOF family for a special viewing of Gather this Thursday, December 10 at 5:30 p.m. PST. Director Sanjay Rawal has generously donated his time to participate in a live Q&A session that will take place after the film screening. Gather is a timely portrait of the growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political, and cultural identities through food sovereignty.  Gather follows Nephi Craig, a chef from the White Mountain Apache Nation (Arizona) opening an indigenous café as a nutritional recovery clinic; Elsie Dubray, a young scientist from the Cheyenne...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 7, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


FAFO

In the age of information, consumers want to know where their food comes from. Was it grown locally? How long did it take to travel to my plate? How much fuel was used in its transport? As the internet and technological advances make it easier for consumers to find information, organic businesses and producers are becoming even more transparent about their supply chain. This helps maintain their customer base of ecologically minded, conscious consumers who want to be part of the solution to many of the problems facing our world.  Organic Valley Co-op (who, like CCOF, partnered with the USDA...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 7, 2020 on education, general organic, webinar

Are you a farmer or prospective farmer in inland Southern California who wants to learn more about organic farming methods and regulations? Attend the free Zoom workshop, Introduction to Small Scale Organic Farming, on December 15, 2020, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., taught by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE).  Topics include UC ANR Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Program (SAREP) Goals and Resources (Gail Feenstra, director),UC ANR Organic Agriculture Institute (OAI) Goals...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, December 7, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic

Australia is no stranger to the devastation wildfires wreak upon the communities and natural habitats in their wake. With this year so full of unexpected twists and turns, many of us need to be reminded that 2020 started off with devastating fires that engulfed the Australian countryside. Our friends and organic colleagues in Australia endured months with no access to water. Communities lost years' worth of work and belongings that cannot be replaced. And yet, despite all the loss, when fires devastated the West Coast of the United States, our fellow food producers in Australian called us and...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


Moua

When Ge Moua and her family purchased their first plot of land in August of last year, they never could have foreseen the challenges 2020 would bring. Owning their own land was supposed to bring them stability after a decade of farming organically on leased plots that were continually sold to developers, causing the Mouas to start over again each time. Seven months after becoming landowners, however, the coronavirus pandemic shuttered farmers’ markets in Sacramento, where the Mouas sell their produce and make the majority of their sales.  The Mouas owed $3,149 in property taxes that were due...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic

Tanimura & Antle is leading the way in setting an industry standard for housing by providing modern, quality housing for its farmworker staff. In California, housing is an issue for all industries. Many high-end tech companies are investing heavily in housing to attract and retain a skilled workforce. Farmworkers, one of the most overlooked highly skilled workforces in our nation, could benefit from similar benefits. Without the ability to pick produce “remotely,” farmworkers will always need to live near the land where they work. And, without significant investment from their employers,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 23, 2020 on events, general organic

The Real Organic Project celebrates nearly 500 farms nationwide and is expanding its educational efforts this winter by inviting farmers and students to attend their Virtual Symposium each Sunday in January from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. PST at a reduced rate, or to view the recorded sessions for free. The 2021 symposium, titled “Can Real Organic Farming Be Saved?” features over 60 leading voices in sustainable agriculture and food, including Al Gore, Vandana Shiva, Leah Penniman, Paul Hawkin, Chanowk Yisrael, JM Fortier, Elliot Coleman, and Dan Barber. Did you know California is the third highest...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, November 16, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, financial assistance, general organic, transition

You still have one week to apply for a $5,000 boost for your organic transition! It can be challenging to transition to certified organic, and we don’t expect farmers to do it alone. That’s why we’ve partnered with Anheuser-Busch and their Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Contract for Change program to provide financial support to growers during the critical phase of becoming organic.  Want to take your farm forward and transition to organic? Maybe you’re already practicing organic methods and need that final incentive to get certified. Now is your chance to lessen the financial challenge of...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic, resources

The deadline for farmers and ranchers to apply for financial relief from USDA through the second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) is December 11. CCOF encourages members to consider applying for the program, which may provide significant financial relief for your agricultural business. The CCOF policy team has spoken with multiple members who have benefited from the program and is ready to support members with the application process directly.   In addition to the CFAP resources outlined in our previous blog post, the following resources are newly available, including a CFAP 2...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, November 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

CCOF partner, the Organic Trade Association (OTA), is requesting farmer feedback on two initiatives:Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsJustice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Organic Community CCOF supports OTA’s effort to prioritize these initiatives in 2021 and encourages our members to fill out the associated surveys, described in detail below, by the November 30 deadline.  Continuous Improvement and Accountability in Organic StandardsChickens outside, standards for shampoo, and strategies for avoiding GMO contamination are some of the requirements that...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 16, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic


sunview

Many of us who spend hours reviewing food labels and packaging can agree upon one thing: there are a lot of words associated with food right now.  We’ve heard it for years. Words like “natural,” “fresh,” or “real” have flooded the food marketplace, leaving consumers anywhere from curious to confused. What is the difference between “natural” and made with “natural ingredients”? Why would one buy a local product versus a low-sodium product? The questions are endless and the answers, elusive. The word “sustainable” is likewise causing confusion as more brands become use it to appeal to growing...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 16, 2020 on general organic

Many opportunities for organic farmers, ranchers, handlers, and processors to participate in public agencies are now available. The hands-on expertise of organic practitioners and producers is of great value to these decision-making agencies. The following agencies have current openings: California Biodiversity Collaborative: California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a groundbreaking executive order in early October 2020 that directs the California Natural Resources Agency to work with other state agencies, including the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), to form a California...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 9, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news

This November, CCOF will launch a survey of our membership in partnership with Washington State University’s Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC).  It is important to receive responses from a wide range of CCOF-certified businesses, so we encourage as many of our members as possible to submit your survey. Your information and responses will remain confidential; the results will be presented in such a way that no individual’s response can be identified by CCOF.  We are surveying members to learn more about your certified organic businesses and how to improve CCOF services. The...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 9, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, general organic

With its consumers and retailers demanding more sustainable packaging, the produce industry has begun to turn its eye toward sustainable packaging options. Earlier this year, many North American fresh berry producers committed to switching to 100 percent recycle-ready clamshell packaging by 2025.  Farms that sell directly to consumers also see the benefits of sustainable produce packaging. Many organic farms consider the use of recyclable or compostable packaging as aligned with their commitment to maintain and improve natural resources. On October 20, 2020, farmers and representatives from...

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