CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

The CCOF policy team is in the midst of researching and writing recommendations for the second phase of the Roadmap to an Organic California project. The project presents the research-supported benefits of organic agriculture  and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.  Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in early 2019 and represents a comprehensive scientific review of the economic, social, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

Last week the United States Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020. In the bill, USDA is required to issue the Origin of Livestock rule that incorporates public comments from the proposal rule within 180 days of the bill becoming law. The language matches a House of Representatives bill that passed in June, showing bipartisan congressional support for the rule.  The Origin of Livestock rule was based on six recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board and clarified and amended the requirements for how dairy producers can...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 23, 2019 on advocacy, education, events, general organic

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) advises the California secretary of food and agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers in the state.  COPAC will convene a meeting on September 26 from 10:00 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Sonoma County Farm Bureau office. Items on the agenda includeNational Organic Program updates, GMO test pilot program update featuring a discussion on synthetic biology, Processor and CalCannabis Subcommittee updates, origin of livestock rule, and access to organic slaughter facilities.  See the full agenda online. The...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 23, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community 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.  Submit Oral & Written Comments Written comments are accepted through October 3, 2019 via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038.  NOSB will accept oral comments through two...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 23, 2019 on general organic, pests and pesticides, research


bagrada_pic

As in past years, Dr. Brian Hogg at USDA’s Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, is seeking research sites for bagrada bug research, and is interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California.  This is the time of year when bagrada bug populations usually start increasing in cole crop fields. High numbers may also be found on weeds, especially shortpod mustard and perennial pepperweed.  Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. Time constraints prevent us from visiting sites more than four hours...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 23, 2019 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Who: The Sierra Fund warmly invites community members and the interested public to join us alongside multidisciplinary technical experts and creatives for an evening of art at the nexus of science as we work to address legacy impacts of the California Gold Rush.   What: Evening art reception to launch the fifth biannual Reclaiming the Sierra (RTS) Conference being convened by The Sierra Fund. RTS 2019: Headwater Mercury Source Reduction is a conference to catalyze action around a regional strategy to abate the impacts of mercury from the Sierra to the sea.    Why: The 19th century Gold Rush...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, September 16, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, food safety, general organic, services

Is your produce farm subject to a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspection, but you aren’t quite sure what to expect? Do you have questions about FSMA compliance, but don’t know who to ask?  Join the CCOF Foundation, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Farmers Guild (CAFF/FG) on September 24 for a webinar that reviews how the FSMA Produce Safety Rule inspection process works in California, as well as shares FSMA resources for organic produce growers. CDFA has started its FSMA inspections of produce farms. Produce...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, drought, financial assistance, general organic, help and tips

Enrollment for the USDA Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) began on September 11, 2019. More than $3 billion is available for producers affected by natural disasters in 2018 and 2019. Producers in 29 California counties are eligible for relief, including prevented planting payments for those unable to plant eligible crops in 2019. Crops that qualify for federal crop insurance or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage are eligible for the WHIP+ program.  Consult the list of counties eligible for 2018 and/or 2019 relief. Read more about program eligibility...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) lawsuit against the USDA over the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule will move to final arguments. After multiple failed attempts by USDA to dismiss the case, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia has confirmed a timeline for final arguments. OTA’s motion for summary judgment will be due on October 18, USDA’s reply is due November 22, OTA will further reply by December 20, and the USDA’s final reply is due on January 17, 2020.  Background on the Lawsuit The 2017 lawsuit alleges that the USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, September 16, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education


Valent CCOF

We study, we practice, and we hope to find success in our chosen fields. For those working in organic agriculture, those fields are both literal and figurative.  After the initial elation—and subsequent shock—of starting your organic farming business, comes the day-to-day tasks. Gone are the days of acquiring permits from the county and spending day in and day out trying to get your business off the ground. You have launched. Your modus operandi has made a sudden and dramatic shift. You’re selling at farmers’ markets, your products have been picked up by retailers, and your business starts to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Pittsburgh on October 23-25, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Pittsburgh.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 15, 2019 and October 17, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 3, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in Pittsburgh. Commenters...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic

The deadline is coming up to apply for a seat on CCOF’s Certification Services, LLC Committee. This is your chance to contribute to the organic community. CCOF members, this is your opportunity to help us recruit someone you trust to oversee your certification business! Applications are due October 11. The CCOF Board of Directors is seeking applications from individuals for appointment to the LLC Management Committee, which they will review at their November meeting. The LLC Management Committee is appointed by the board and has the responsibility to control and manage the business and...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, events, general organic

Santa Cruz local and author Jonathan Franzen presented the keynote talk at CCOF member the Homeless Garden Project’s August 24 Sustain Supper. You can now read his speech in The New Yorker! About the Homeless Garden Project, he said, "In Santa Cruz, where I live, there’s an organization called the Homeless Garden Project. [. . .] It can’t 'solve' the problem of homelessness, but it’s been changing lives, one at a time, for nearly thirty years. Supporting itself in part by selling organic produce, it contributes more broadly to a revolution in how we think about people in need, the land we...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


JSM Farm Tour

Last week, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics hosted Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)’s Legislative Assistant Riya Mehta, Melody Meyer of Source Organic, Cassandra Christine of the Organic Trade Association, and CCOF policy staff for a tour of his farm in Royal Oaks, California. Zamora shared his story of success in an increasingly challenging market for small-scale organic growers and highlighted the challenges he and other growers face.  Mehta communicated Congressman Panetta’s continued support for organic and expressed a desire to seek policy support for both current and transitioning...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 23-25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038 until October 3, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their...

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