CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, policy

Numerous scientific studies show that organic farming improves soil health and builds soil organic matter, which sequesters carbon in the soil and helps mitigate climate change.  This makes organic farming a good match for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program, which offers three-year grants to farmers and ranchers to implement conservation practices that build soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  CCOF has been working since last year to gain approval from CDFA to add an Organic Transition Option to the Healthy Soils...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, policy

Dear CCOF Members and Supporters, Each summer, we write to you to tell you about all the things you’ve helped CCOF accomplish in the previous year. As we sit down now to reflect on 2019—in the middle of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic—it almost feels like another lifetime ago with how much the world has changed in such a short time. But what we learned and achieved in 2019 can help us chart the path forward. We can’t know what healing and renewal for the world will look like after this crisis ends. But what I do know is that CCOF members will be there every step of the way to feed, nourish...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

CCOF Central Coast Chapter President Javier Zamora of JSM Organics was one of the featured panelists in the Climate of Hope Online Forum organized by Regeneración Pajaro Valley Climate Action, a climate justice organization based in Watsonville, California.  The Climate of Hope forum gathered experts to discuss how climate change is affecting agricultural communities, with a focus on farmworkers in the Central Coast’s Pajaro Valley.  California State University, Monterey Bay students presented the results of a community survey on climate change sponsored by Regeneración which found “the...
Written by Jane Wade on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on CCOF, general organic

Have you ever been asked to make organic products? During these uncertain times it can be hard to envision change, but this might be the perfect time to consider adding organic products to your line. With the expanding consumer demand for organic products, brand owners are looking for co-packers to make their products and retailers are looking for organic versions of existing products.  The USDA organic regulations are not as complicated as they may seem. If you have a HAACP plan, SSOP, allergen control plan, or other traceability system, you already have the structure you need to handle...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on general organic

The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model has seen a resurgence since COVID-19. This mutually beneficial relationship provides the community with fresh harvested produce each week, supports the farmer with funds at the beginning of the season for growing their crops to harvest, and gives farmers the peace of mind knowing their crops are sold. The traditional CSA model requires the customer to pay in advance for a “share” in the farmer’s crops, over a period of 4 weeks, 12 weeks, or the full season.  During the pandemic, a CSA can be a good way to connect with your customers and be a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic, grower

A new technical but approachable guide developed by the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) offers small- and medium-scale organic growers valuable information on organic and sustainable seedling production. The 20-page guide describes how to effectively and efficiently grow vegetable and flower seedlings for organic operations using environmentally responsible practices. It offers an overview of greenhouse structures and basic cultural requirements and environmental management techniques to optimize germination and...
Written by Lulu Garcia on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on advocacy, education, general organic, grower

Una nueva guía técnica, pero accesible, desarrollada por el Centro de Agroecología y Sistemas Alimentarios Sostenibles (CASFS), en la Universidad de California en Santa Cruz (UCSC), ofrece a los agricultores orgánicos a pequeña y mediana escala, información valiosa sobre la producción orgánica y sostenible de plántulas.   La guía de 20 páginas, describe cómo cultivar, de manera efectiva y eficiente, plántulas de hortalizas y flores para granjas orgánicas, utilizando prácticas ambientalmente responsables. Además, ofrece una visión general sobre las estructuras de invernadero y los requisitos...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on biodiversity, general organic

What strategies do you implement in order to respond to climate change impacts? What regulations or programs have you found encourage or discourage you responding to the changes you face? My family’s involvement in agriculture through the dairy industry has long shown me that our farmers and farmland are essential to the livelihood of California and its people. A driving force of my research is to understand how climate change impacts agriculture, how the farmers involved in these businesses respond to those impacts through their actions, and why farmers make the decisions they do regarding...
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 Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on general organic

Healthy PlanEat is a new sustainable food startup based in Southeastern Connecticut which exists to connect people to local farms that use sustainable growing practices. Are you interested in creating an online presence and helping customers conveniently pre-order food from your farm? Using Healthy PlanEat, you can easily upload inventory, set distribution options, and manage incoming orders from local individuals and wholesale buyers. Local customers can find your farm and place an order to pick up at the farm, farmers’ market, pop-up location, or get delivery if that’s a service you’d like...
Written by Cassidy Carmichael on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on general organic


Chris Kidwell

CCOF wishes to thank and congratulate Chris Kidwell upon his retirement after 30 years as an organic inspector!  During the 1990s, Kidwell served on the CCOF Certification Standards Committee as the chair of the Inspector Development Subcommittee and represented inspectors as a non-voting member of the CCOF Board of Directors. Kidwell has contributed to the development of the organic inspector profession as an active member of the Independent Organic Inspectors Association since 1994, ad has served on the Board of Directors and the membership committee.  CCOF has relied on Kidwell’s highly...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news


CCOF shares a big appreciation to Bill Reynolds of Eel River Produce in Humboldt County for his expertise in seed breeding and commitment to organic agriculture. Reynolds, a certified organic farmer since 1989, is an organic farmer specializing in dry farming and known for developing the dark start zucchini, Eel River melon, stella blue squash, and other crops.  As told by Zea Sonnabend in an issue of Certified Organic, over twenty years ago Reynolds was having a difficult time finding a zucchini desirable for wholesalers. He worked with John Navazio to cross the hybrid “Raven” and heirloom “...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


FOFGF

Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Teachers: Receive funds to incorporate organic into your classroom’s project-based learning. The CCOF Foundation and the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom administer the Look at Agriculture…Organically! grant program for K-8 teachers who educate their students about organic agriculture. Applicants must be certified K-8 teachers in the United States. Applicants must submit a project proposal with an itemized budget for a project to be completed in the 2020-21 school year. A significant percentage of grant funds will be awarded to teachers...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

The Farmer Equity Act passed by the California legislature in 2017 defined “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers” and required the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to ensure that food and agriculture laws, policies, and programs be developed in consultation with socially disadvantaged and women farmers and ranchers. CDFA recently issued the 2020 Report to the California Legislature on the Farmer Equity Act on progress to date in implementing the Farmer Equity Act. Using data based on stakeholder and agency interviews, the report identifies four primary challenges...

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