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Written by Sarah Reed on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Thank you for your support of organic in 2021! 
 
As you gather close to family this time of year, CCOF staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed from December 24 through December 31.

If you have urgent certification needs, please submit updates as early as possible to inbox@ccof.org. Updates received during the office closure will be reviewed in the order received once our teams are back in January.
 
We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests when we return.
 

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) for all food processors regardless of their compliance status. Following good food safety practices also gives you and your customers confidence in the safety of your food products. Join us for the fourth webinar in our FSMA 101 for Organic Processors series for an overview of cGMPs for organic processors.

In this webinar, we will go through the basics of cGMPs requirements and recordkeeping. Learn about food safety requirements for buildings, equipment, and personnel, among others.…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

The CCOF Foundation supports farmers transitioning to organic practices because we know that organic agriculture is a proven solution to climate change, economic insecurity, and health inequities.

Our organic transition program makes sure that transitioning farmers

have the financial stability to transition;  get professional technical support in key areas of agronomy, business and…
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 22, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide pandemic assistance to cover certification and education expenses to agricultural producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic. USDA will make $20 million available through the new Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) as part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, which provides new, broader, and more equitable opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and producers.   

OTECP funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 22, 2021
OGS 2021 to Honor “a Grower’s Grower”; Vic Smith Announced as Grower of the Year Award Recipient

The Organic Grower Summit, presented by Western Growers and the Organic Produce Network, will honor longtime organic grower Vic Smith as the recipient of the fourth annual Organic Grower Summit’s Grower of the Year. Smith, CEO of JV Smith Companies, was selected based on his ongoing commitment and dedication to excellence in organic production, organic industry leadership, and innovation. 

The Grower of the Year award, sponsored by AGCO, will be presented to Smith as part of the…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 22, 2021

Farmers—especially organic farmers—operate on razor-thin margins that are especially stressed during hard times. Yet even when farmers are facing the challenges brought by natural disasters and a global pandemic, their dedication to the land and our communities continues as they work each day to grow nutritious food for our families. 

Our Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives grants to organic…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 15, 2021
Next Gen: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Organic Leaders

Up-and-coming leaders from three of the nation’s most progressive organic growing operations have been confirmed as panelists for the keynote presentation at the 2021 Organic Grower Summit (OGS) presented by Western Growers and OPN on December 1-2 in Monterey, California. 

“Next Gen: A Conversation with the Next Generation of Organic Leaders” will…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 15, 2021

The day we visited Far West Fungi, the sun never even broke through the dense coastal fog. Nestled on a bluff in Moss Landing, California (aptly named for the foggy, chilly days there), Far West Fungi’s damp, dark facilities are joyfully managed by a multigenerational family whose business is full of light and hope.

If you were to admit that you don’t actually know how mushrooms grow, you wouldn’t be alone. Erin…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 8, 2021

As we wrap up our first “Radio Organic” podcast series, we would love to hear your ideas for future broadcasts. What topics would you like us to explore in future episodes?

Series One Recap

In our first series, we looked at direct marketing strategies for farms that sell directly to consumers.

In episode one, we heard from Joe Schirmer of Dirty Girl Produce on he how completely…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, November 8, 2021

Sixteen years ago, an accident ended the short and blossoming life of Casey Burke. Burke, a leader in Biodynamic farming of wine grapes, is survived by his brother Ted Burke. Ted manages the much-beloved Shadowbrook restaurant near CCOF’s headquarters in the greater Santa Cruz, California area. The restaurant, which sits alongside the river in quaint Capitola, is known for serving high-quality ingredients from…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 8, 2021

Note: Applications for Healthy Soils Incentive grants are being accepted on a rolling basis until funding runs out, so the sooner you submit your application, the more likely you will be to receive funding. The Healthy Soils Demonstration grant deadline is December 31, 2021.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for its Healthy Soils Program (HSP). The program incentivizes implementation and demonstration of on-farm soil practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health. CDFA appropriated $75 million…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 8, 2021

USDA is currently accepting applications for the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program. Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal at https://usda-prs.grantsolutions.gov/usda by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, November 22, 2021. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants.

Don’t wait until the last minute. The first step in applying is getting a DUNS number, which can take up to five days. 

Once you have your DUNS number, the application takes less than 10 minutes. The application, FAQs, tip sheets, and…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Two California cannabis farms have pioneered a new milestone in cannabis, and are now certified as the first “comparable-to-organic” cannabis farms in the state, as well as in the United States, by CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). OCal is a new certification program through the California Dept. of Food and Ag (CDFA). The certification was awarded to well-respected legacy farmer Sensiboldt Organics out of Humboldt County, and The Highland Canopy at Sonoma Hills Farm, a new premium craft cannabis farm and culinary garden located in Sonoma County. 

The first cannabis…

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

In response to the severe drought conditions in the West and Great Plains, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its plans to help cover the cost of transporting feed for livestock that rely on grazing. USDA is updating the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to immediately cover feed transportation costs for drought-impacted ranchers. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide more details and tools to help ranchers get ready to apply at their local USDA Service Center later this month at their website: fsa.usda.gov/elap.…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Does your business fall into the fully covered category of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule? If so, join the CCOF Foundation in November for the third webinar in our FSMA 101 for Organic Processors series, where we will go over the requirements for a fully covered facility, review required training, and walk through the process for registering with FDA.

Your food business must fully comply with the FSMA Preventive Controls Rule if 


-    your business conducts activities that are not considered “low risk” processing to…