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Written by Adrian Fischer on Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Darryl Wood EXCELLENT close up smiling AC 2018 CCOF-0233

PHOTO: Darrell Wood

We’re still buzzing with inspiration following our CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference in Sacramento on February 23. This year, 175 attendees joined us to explore the factors that have made California a hotbed of organic hotspots activity and discuss ways to…

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 18, 2017

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) issued an action alert calling on organic advocates to urge their elected officials to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (Cost Share) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA). 

CCOF highly encourages the organic community to rally in support of Cost Share and to follow the steps outlined in NOC’s action alert. 

Cost Share is one of the few federal assistance programs that offers specific support to organic producers. The program provides organic producers with a reimbursement of up to $750 of their…

Written by ManualMigrator2 on Monday, April 3, 2017

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss agricultural labor issues, rural job development, and opportunities for career technical education at its upcoming meeting on April 4, 2017, in Sacramento. Over the next 5-10 years, on-farm automation and research will impact the agricultural sector, creating a need for rural job development and technical training for farm workers in communities across the state. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814.…

Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 6, 2017

CCOF hosted over 200 participants at our Annual Meeting and Conference, in Visalia, California on February 9 and 10. Conference attendees, representing a broad spectrum of the organic community, gathered to hear about innovations and inspiration in the organic sector.

Keynote speaker Gary Hirshberg gave an insightful speech about the are new opportunities for organic posed by this moment in our country’s history. He called upon those in the room to join with the larger organic community to champion organic with a unified voice. “Organic is about building the next generation of hope…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The proposed organic check-off program is open for comment through March 20, 2017. CCOF members are strongly encouraged to comment. Comments should include any recommended improvements to the proposal as it is now published and whether the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should move forward with putting the proposal to a nationwide referendum.

About the Organic Check-off

The proposed Organic Check-off program is projected to raise at least $30 million per year to fund organic research, technical assistance, and promotion of the organic brand. The funding…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) State Organic Program (SOP) is pleased to announce a federal funding opportunity of $12.5 million for eligible applicants under the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). The SOP has applied to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) under the United States Department of Agriculture to assist in distribution of these funds. This money…

Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, July 18, 2016

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is still open for 2016 applications, but only a few months remain to apply for funds. Through this program, eligible operations will be reimbursed up to 75% of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750, for each NOP scope of organic certification. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 may apply for reimbursement. The Cost Share application deadline is October 31, 2016.

At this point, over 400 CCOF-certified members have…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

On June 20, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not properly issue guidance on the allowance of green waste in compost used for organic production. USDA has 60 days to appeal the decision.

The ruling is the outcome of a federal lawsuit filed against USDA that challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the allowance of green waste in organic production systems. The Court held that USDA did not properly issue the guidance because it did not provide for public notice and comment.…

Written by Jane Sooby on Saturday, May 30, 2015

Certification cost share is a program that reimburses organic operations 75% of eligible certification-related costs up to a maximum of $750 per certified scope. Certification cost share is now open in the state of California and will be in other states soon. CCOF is preparing helpful instruction documents and tools to help you navigate the cost share forms. Look for them by May 1!

Certification cost share helps keep organic certification accessible for all, from the smallest to largest organic operations. Cost share distributes federal funds through state departments of…

Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, May 4, 2015

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The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for 2015 applications!

This means that all certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope.

CCOF is standing by to help members with documentation…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, January 12, 2015

Many CCOF members feel strongly that fees charged by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Organic Program are duplicative of the fees that they pay for organic certification to the National Organic Program (NOP) and that the state program should be eliminated. In response to these concerns, CCOF’s policy team is undertaking a research and review process to examine the role of the California state organic program relative to the NOP and develop a set of policy recommendations. CCOF’s findings will be compiled in a comprehensive report titled Review of the California…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 8, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is accepting public comments on its recently updated food safety rules now through December 15. To comment, CCOF highly recommends that you use the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) comment template and instructions.

The updated rules include significant changes, such as:

revised water testing standards, deferred manure treatment standards, and  a more collaborative approach to regulating parts of mixed-type facilities — e.g. operations that grow, pack, and/or process on the farm.

FDA issued the updated rules…

Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, November 7, 2014

CCOF is excited to announce that 33% of its members in California have successfully applied for the organic certification cost-share rebate, which refunds 75% of certification-related expenses up to a maximum of $750 per certified scope of operation. 

We encourage the remainder of CCOF-certified members to apply for certification cost share in California before the postmark deadline of November 29, 2014. We also encourage members in other states to submit applications for cost share according to their state deadlines.

A few things to keep in mind about certification cost…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, October 27, 2014

Are you up-to-date on the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules?

On Thursday, November 6, in Sacramento, California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will host a free listening session on the FSMA Updated Proposed Rules for Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, and Preventative Controls for Animal Food.

CCOF is co-sponsoring the listening session and encourages all members to take advantage of this opportunity to hear an overview of the updated proposed rules, ask questions, and learn more about food safety rules.

Written by Cathy Calfo on Monday, July 21, 2014

Kelly Damewood joined CCOF as Policy Director on July 14. Kelly most recently received an advanced degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in food and agricultural policy. She has also worked as a journalist for Food Safety News, writing and publishing news articles on food safety issues for the online publication with worldwide distribution. Prior to that, Kelly received her law degree from the Vermont Law School, specializing in environmental law. 

Kelly will lead CCOF’s policy staff and organize member engagement on issues related to the National Organic Program (…