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Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 30, 2021

Organic food once was viewed as a niche category for health nuts and hippies, but today it’s a routine choice for millions of Americans. For years following passage of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which established national organic standards, consumers had to seek out organic products at food co-ops and farmers’ markets. Today over half of organic sales are in conventional grocery store chains, club stores, and supercenters; Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Target, and Safeway are the top five organic retailers.

Surveys show that 82 percent of Americans buy some organic food,…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 30, 2021

California agricultural operations have been significantly impacted by the wildfires and ongoing, severe drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers recover. Impacted producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure and livestock losses and damages.

“Production agriculture is vital to the California economy, and USDA stands ready to assist in the recovery…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, August 23, 2021
plant people

Plant People, an organic hemp, CBD, and mushroom supplement company, shares CCOF’s vision of a world where organic is the norm. They are a Certified B Corp; they are climate neutral, and they incorporate charitable giving as an inherent part of their business model. As if that wasn’t cool enough, they also plant a tree for every product sold. “Plant People is unlocking centuries of botanical intelligence to create unique and innovative formulas that reconnect us to our true nature. After traumatic spinal injuries,  [co-founder Gabe Kennedy and CEO Hudson Gaines] found [their] way back to…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, August 23, 2021

In the current issue of Certified Organic, CCOF announced our new grant opportunity for small-scale Salinas Valley farmers on the path to becoming organic farm owners. More specifically, grantees will be implementing regenerative practices that have been the hallmarks of organic production for decades, including crop rotation, cover cropping, mulching, composting, and other soil-building practices. 

At the helm of this new grant opportunity is the Rustic Canyon Family, a Michelin-starred restaurant group with a history of community giving and philanthropy. The announcement of this…

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 23, 2021
Annual Report

Dear CCOF members and supporters,

Every time I heard the term “essential” in 2020, it led me to think more deeply about how accurately the word describes the organic community. Of course, keeping families and communities fed with healthy, nutritious food despite whatever crises arise is essential. But organic is more than just essential for getting food on the table. Organic is essential for fighting climate change, helping our economy recover and become more resilient, and solving health inequities.*

In the early days of the pandemic, CCOF made it our mission to continue…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Recently passed federal regulations require food processors to meet certain food safety standards. Join us for this webinar series to learn what your business needs to do to comply. Through the nine-part series, we will walk through the different compliance categories of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for food processors, as well as review what each category of businesses needs to do to comply. Then we’ll dive deeper into food safety topics such as hazard analysis and validation. Get your food safety questions answered in this introductory series for organic processors!…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 2, 2021
The Growth of CEA—What’s Real and What’s Hype From a Retailer/Consumer Perspective


Monterey, CA (July 26, 2021) – The flourishing development of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) and how retailers and consumers view this emerging segment of fresh produce production, will be the topics of an educational session at the Organic Produce Summit (OPS) 2021. The Growth of CEA—What’s Real and What’s Hype From a Retail and Consumer Perspective will feature leadership from a pair of recognized retailers and one of the fresh produce industry’s most progressive grower/shippers,…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 2, 2021
Berry Category Leads the Way, Topping Packaged Salads for First Time

Monterey, CA (July 14, 2021) — Total organic fresh produce sales for the second quarter (Q2) of 2021 saw a continuation of year-over-year growth, increasing by 4 percent from the same period last year and nearing $2.3 billion for the quarter, according to the Q2 2021 Organic Produce Performance Report released exclusively by Organic Produce Network (OPN) and Category Partners. 

Organic fresh produce sales and volume in the second quarter of 2021 continued to show year-over-year growth despite the fact that the…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 2, 2021
“The Next 18 Months: Navigating a Competitive, Consumer-Driven Landscape”

Jim Donald, Albertsons co-chair, will be a featured keynote presenter at the fifth annual Organic Produce Summit (OPS), joining retail industry veteran Kevin Coupe for a provocative and engaging conversation about the future of the food industry and the role organic will play for consumers and the retail community. 

“The Next 18 Months: Navigating a Competitive, Consumer-Driven Landscape” will feature Donald discussing the future of food retailing as the country rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic. His…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 26, 2021

Join Gwendolyn Wyard, vice president of regulatory and technical affairs at the Organic Trade Association (OTA), for a listening session on organic hemp at 2:00 p.m. PDT on August 5. 

OTA would like to hear from the organic hemp sector about the challenges, barriers, and opportunities that are unique to certified organic production and handling and the organic certification process. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the work of the Organic Trade Association and to share their views on how we can best support the growth of organic hemp production and hemp…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 19, 2021

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) generally meets twice each year in a public forum to discuss and vote on recommendations to the USDA. These recommendations help the Department develop and refine the organic standards.

Based on input from the Board and members of the organic community, the NOSB currently plans to resume in-person meetings in October 2021, subject to federal, state, and local guidance on in-person meetings at that time.

The in-person meeting will be aired live online for those who are not able to travel. Should circumstances prevent an in-person…

Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, July 19, 2021

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting proposals for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). This one-time additional funding from the federal government to state departments of agriculture addresses COVID-19 impacts on the food system.

The SCBGP funds projects that improve the performance of California specialty crops within local, domestic, national, and international markets. Eligible applicants include nonprofit and for-profit organizations; local, state, federal, and tribal government entities; and public and private colleges and…

Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, July 19, 2021

The Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University has launched The Livestock Project to create tools and trainings for organic producers and veterinarians on organic animal health care.

The Center is conducting a national survey to understand the unique needs of organic dairy, beef, sheep, goat, swine, and poultry producers. The results will guide the development of tools and materials to help you keep your animals healthy and prevent disease. The survey will only take about 10 minutes to complete.

This survey is anonymous. It will not be linked in…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 19, 2021

The Organic Foods Production Act created the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) as a tool for managing the substances used in organic production over time. In general, natural substances are allowed in organic, and synthetic substances are prohibited. The National List identifies the limited exceptions to these general rules. The National List also identifies nonagricultural and non-organic agricultural substances (ingredients) that may be used in organic handling. Changes to the National List require a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendation…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 19, 2021

Please join the Central Coast region Irrigated Lands Program at one of the virtual workshops noted below to learn more about the newly adopted requirements for irrigated agriculture:

Agricultural Order No. R3-2021-0040, commonly referred to as Agricultural Order 4.0.

These workshops are free of charge and will be hosted using the Zoom video conferencing platform. Attendees can use a computer or mobile device to view and/or listen to presentations and take part in a live question and answer session with Irrigated Lands Program staff.

Presentations will cover an…