This year, 2022, has been a banner year for California statewide investment in organic transition. The state budget allocated $5 million to create an Organic Transition Program; the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) awarded $1.85 million to the University of California Organic Agriculture Institute to increase organic technical assistance; and CDFA is also reserving $6 million to support organic planning under the new Conservation Agriculture Planning Grants Program. Combined, this is an unprecedented level of investment in organic agriculture.
CCOF led the charge to create an Organic Transition Program in California. And on June 30, the governor signed into law the 2022–2023 state budget that includes $5 million for grants, technical assistance, education, and outreach to support farmers and ranchers to transition to organic. The program also sets aside funds for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
CCOF is working to pass two organic bills in California this legislative session. AB 1870 will streamline the state program that oversees organic food manufacturers and handlers, and AB 2499 will create an organic transition pilot program to support socially disadvantaged growers in becoming certified organic.
Both bills moved forward during deliberations on the Assembly floor in late May, and next, they will be taken up by the California Senate Agriculture Committee.
Both bills sponsored by CCOF were passed out of the California Assembly Agriculture Committee at the hearing on April 27th.
“I was on the verge of losing my farm.” These words haunted Maria Narez of Narez Organic Vegetables as she navigated the complexities of becoming certified organic.
This week the agenda and all proposals and discussion documents for the fall 2021 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings were posted online. Sign-up for public comment during October 13 and 14 online webinars is now open. If you want to make an oral comment, register now because the slots can get filled up quickly.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is accepting public comment through June 15 on the funding rules for its new Conservation Agriculture Planning Grant Program. Please consider making a comment using the points outlined below.
An outcome of CCOF’s advocacy for CDFA support for organic farmers in its Climate Smart Agriculture programs, this new program received $20 million in Governor Gavin Newsom’s May revision of the state budget.
Eating organic food should not be a privilege; organic is for everyone.
Yet today, widespread economic inequality prevents many families from accessing organic. Income inequality is at its highest in California’s history, with a pay disparity almost double today what it was in 1980.