CCOF Blog

Written by Allison Stafford on Monday, July 13, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news


Sprouts in a bowl

The CCOF family is ever-growing and we are extremely proud of our organic farmers and producers working to make the world a better place! Each new member brings CCOF closer to its mission to make organic the norm.  We would like to highlight a couple of newly certified organic operations who have joined the CCOF family, Bare Sprouts and 12 Tides. As mission-driven operations, these young companies are creating positive change through what we eat.  We look forward to years of partnership and success with each! Bare SproutsBare Sprouts is an indoor sprout farm located in Tempe, Arizona, the...
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 Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, general organic

California’s newly approved 2020-2021 budget bears almost no resemblance to its rosy origins back in January, as we continue to weather the public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is one bright spot in the otherwise mixed outlook: the legislature approved Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposal to create a $10 million California Farm-to-School program, which includes about $8.5 million in school grants as well as $1.5 million for sustained staffing at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Office of Farm to Fork to implement the program in the...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, June 29, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

When COVID-19 struck, farmers were already facing significant challenges. Low prices combined with rising production costs, labor shortages, and climate change impacts resulted in 58 percent of California’s farms operating with net losses in 2017. Today, organic farmers and businesses are working around the clock to adjust to new conditions. CCOF compiled this overview based on agricultural and market research and qualitative data from a sample of CCOF producers, processors, and businesses (30 chapter leaders and 192 survey responses). Please let us know if we have missed your experience at...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 29, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, marketing

If there has been anything I have learned from experiencing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic these past few months, it is how amazing my farming community has been in rising up to meet the needs of their community and supporting each other. We make up truly important, interconnected food webs within the local food shed. We may grow different crops, but we all have a strong work ethic and the desire to feed people local food. I believe it is crucial that we see our farmer peers not as competition, but as collaborators working towards the same goal. There is plenty to go around. We are...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on food safety, general organic, survey

To better understand produce industry’s education and training needs on topics related to cleaning and sanitizing, the Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety invites you to take a short survey. It should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey is a collaboration among Oregon State University - Western Regional Center to Enhance Food Safety, United Fresh Produce Association, Produce Marketing Association, National Farmers Union, and the Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN).  The results of the survey will help guide the...
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 Laetitia Benador on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, livestock, policy

CCOF invites all organic livestock producers to share experiences, challenges, and needs related to organic livestock production, from market barriers to difficulties accessing certified organic processing plants, other infrastructure needs, and beyond. The CCOF Policy Team is researching solutions to top issues facing livestock producers, and we want to hear from you! We know that organic livestock producers are critical stewards of pasture and rangelands across the U.S. and that producers also face many unique challenges. Please email us at policy@ccof.org or call 415-346-6223 to share your...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, crisis resilience, general organic

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a temporary guidance on the requirements that farms must meet to be considered qualified exempt under the Federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This is important for small farms to be aware of if you have less than $561,494 in gross food sales annually (adjusted for inflation and averaged over the last three years), as your farm may be eligible for a partial exemption from the FSMA, if your farm meets one other criteria.  The other criteria is what the law refers to as sales to a “qualified end user.” Farms that sell at least 50...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news

Jeff Huckaby, president of CCOF-certified Grimmway Farms and Cal-Organic Farms, has received the Organic Trade Association’s prestigious Farmer of the Year award for 2020. Huckaby is a fourth generation farmer who discovered a passion for growing organic carrots over 20 years ago when he first started experimenting with organic practices. He has since led the expansion of Grimmway and Cal-Organic’s organic production to more than 45,000 acres of certified organic vegetables in five states. He is a leader in organic marketing as well, convincing Costco to stock only organic carrots in their...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing four vacancies on the Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board (FIAB) Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). This subcommittee serves as an expert scientific panel on matters concerning plant nutrition and environmental effects related to fertilizing materials use. It reviews all research and education proposals for the annual Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) grant program and recommends to FIAB which projects should receive funding. Applicants must demonstrate technical, applied, and scientific expertise in the...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, general organic


photo courtesy of Dawn Heumann for Straus Family Creamery

Photo courtesy of Dawn Heumann for Straus Family Creamery @dawnheumann When asked about how California dairy provider Straus Family Creamery continues to keep their organic producers protected during unprecedented market volatility and consumer purchasing patterns, President Bob McGee responded by saying, “My boss is an organic dairy farmer.” Lucky for their loyal network of consumers, the first-hand perspective of Straus founder and CEO, Albert Straus, influences everything they do as a company. While dairy producers across the country are dumping milk due to hotel and restaurant closures,...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, financial assistance, general organic


Uncertainty. Worry. Fear. Concern. Holding the fort down. Struggle. Due to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including supply chain disruption, health concerns, and financial burdens, these anxieties have landed on the hearts of many in the agricultural community. The people running these businesses need more than financial support; they need resources to manage the exponential mental stress they face every day from the uncertainty of how their businesses may fare. The topic of mental health is still largely unaddressed in the United States farming community, with a “pick...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on events, general organic

In celebration of world soil health day, join the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT/ATTRA) on June 23 for a webinar on soil heath principles. Hear from farmers Paul Kaiser and Ward Burroughs on how they invest in their soils by applying the five principles of healthy soil management on their farms. Two very different farms growing different crops in different locations show how these principles are applied at different scales. NCAT’s Rex Dufour will introduce the topic, providing context about how we got to where we are with respect to soil health, and the urgent need for all...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


If you’ve been reading the CCOF E-Newsletter for a while, you’re likely familiar with the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund. Since 2014, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund has given more than $600,000 directly to students and teachers who are inspired to study organic. 100% of donations to the fund are given directly to the next generation of organic farmers and producers, made possible with the generosity of households, businesses, and foundations across the country.  Covilli Brand Organics was one of the Fund’s original Champion-level supporters in 2014, part of a group...

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