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Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, January 30, 2023

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Join UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) for a weekly lunchtime seminar series. Each week, we’ll be joined by a guest speaker for a 30-minute presentation followed by questions from the listeners and more general discussion. 

When: January 24–March 21, 2023; Tuesdays, 12–1 p.m. Pacific Time

Where: On Zoom:

The Zoom link will be the same each week. No pre-registration is required…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 30, 2023

The Central Coast of California was recently barraged with the highest rainfall it has seen in decades. The deluge has brought flooding, landslides, and loss of life and has destroyed homes and building structures. Notably, there is also ongoing damage to crops and fields. Many berry farmers have experienced an entire loss of crop within the span of a week. Others have lost farm labor support with closed roads and the inability to access fields. 

The CCOF Foundation will be offering hardship assistance grants again this spring. We can earmark funds to a restricted geographical…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 30, 2023

An atmospheric river caused widespread flooding and landslides in California at the beginning of 2023, creating an estimated $5–7 billion of damage. Especially hard hit were farms in many rural areas adjacent to rivers that overflowed their banks, flooding fields, homes, and businesses. President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for California, which triggered the release of federal funds to assist people and businesses affected by the damage. 

For useful general advice on documenting and recovering from disasters, refer to this document created by Rural Advancement…

Written by Kim Hatfield on Monday, January 23, 2023

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has released the final Strengthening Organic Enforcement regulations. These changes to the organic regulations will become effective on March 20, 2023, and operations impacted by the rule will need to comply by March 19, 2024. CCOF is carefully reviewing the new regulations and will provide more information on how the changes may affect your business soon. We encourage you to do the same by reviewing the published language on the Federal Register.

Please keep a close eye out for continued announcements via our newsletter and encourage those…

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

There is a unique opportunity to apply for a seat on CCOF’s Certification Services, LLC Management Committee. This is a rare chance to be part of the committee that manages the business and affairs of CCOF Certification Services, LLC.  

The CCOF Board of Directors is looking for applicants who have a significant background in the organic industry (preferably with an understanding of organic certification) and who have experience in business management, including human resources, financials, and program management. The board is particularly interested in applicants with experience…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

CCOF submitted a written comment to the National Organic Program (NOP) on inert ingredients in pesticides. The NOP sought input on how to update the organic regulations, which currently reference outdated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy on inert ingredients in pesticides. Inert ingredients are any substance other than the active ingredient in a pesticide product, including solvents, diluents, stabilizers, and preservatives. An updated NOP standard is important to preserve tools organic farmers rely on and to create a path forward for companies to research and develop softer…

Written by Sarah Reed on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

We are seeking certified organic handlers to take part in a national study by completing a survey by New York University (NYU) and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The survey has several intended benefits for the organic industry, including identification of

barriers to and direction of industry growth; different procurement methods, including contracting, that may reduce handler costs; and supply chain challenges, such as shortages of specific ingredients.

NCAT and NYU also want to hear about challenges pertaining to your business. This nationwide study was…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 9, 2023

With the ongoing drought crisis in California, farmers face increased costs ranging from higher water and energy bills to installing new equipment. This is especially difficult for smaller farms, BIPOC and immigrant farmers, and other socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

These farmers often fall through the cracks of traditional government aid, so the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD), with funding from the California Deptartment of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), is stepping in to offer direct financial support to farmers who have…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 9, 2023

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) will meet during the EcoFarm Conference from 12:30–3:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, 2023, in the Scripps room at the Asilomar Conference Grounds located at 800 Asilomar Avenue in Pacific Grove, California. Attendees do not have to register for EcoFarm to attend.

COPAC is a state advisory committee created by state law to advise the Secretary of Food and Agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers, processors, and handlers.

Currently, COPAC has a number of open seats,…

Written by Kim Hatfield on Monday, January 9, 2023

Although the final regulations have yet to be released, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) will soon implement a new rule called Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). NOP has stated that they will publish the rule in a matter of weeks. Once the rule is published, there will be a one-year implementation timeline before full compliance is required. This rule will increase oversight of organic products throughout the supply chain. When fully implemented, the rule will (1) strengthen organic control systems by requiring previously excluded operations to be certified; (2) improve…

Written by Jen Rojas on Thursday, December 22, 2022

Thank you for your support of organic in 2022!
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 January 2.
We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests right away when we return.

Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, December 19, 2022

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has established a new goal that 20 percent of California’s cultivated land be farmed organically by 2045. CARB, the arm of California charged with fighting climate change, has set this goal after hearing from CCOF and partners on the 30 years of peer-reviewed research demonstrating the climate benefits of organic agriculture.

The Climate Benefits of Organic

Based on modeling climate strategies, CARB found that increased organic adoption corresponds with increased carbon storage.1  A UC Davis Long-Term Research on Agricultural Systems…
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, December 6, 2022

In 2020, the CCOF Foundation partnered with Anheuser-Busch to allocate half a million dollars to farmers across the United States that were in the process of transitioning to organic through our Contract for Change partnership. Jared Siverling of Siverling Centennial Farms was one such grantee. This is his story about transitioning from conventional to certified organic production. 

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Beginning January 1, 2023, all growers with ranches located in Groundwater Phase 1 Areas must start maintaining records for all nitrogen applied to crops, total nitrogen removed during harvest, and irrigation management information. This information will be used to submit the Irrigation and Nutrient Management Plan (INMP) summary report, which is due March 1, 2024.

Beginning January 1, 2023, all growers with ranches located in Groundwater Phase 2 and 3 Areas must start maintaining records for all nitrogen applied to crops. This information will be used to submit the Total Nitrogen…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 21, 2022

Underscoring more than a half century of pioneering work in organic farming, University of California President Michael V. Drake announced today that UC Santa Cruz will be designated as an Agricultural Experiment Station (AES). 

UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced are the first campuses to receive this designation in 50 years and join UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and UC Riverside as AES campuses. 

“Both UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced have long conducted research on agricultural issues, so it is appropriate that these campuses also receive this designation and have their work recognized as…