From Field to Forum

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, September 8, 2014 on inputs, pests and pesticides

CCOF encourages you to review California’s proposed plan for invasive plant pest management. A draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) describing the plan is open for comment through October 31, 2014. In a recent press conference, Sandy Schubert, undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), stated that the plan offers CDFA’s best assessment of on-the-ground pest management practices and details the state’s decision-making process in taking pest management actions. Laura Petro, CDFA’s Senior Environmental Scientist, said, “This report reflects California’s...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, September 8, 2014 on education

The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UC Santa Cruz is accepting applications for its 2015 Apprenticeship Program. A range of scholarship funding is available for interested applicants, and the deadline to apply is September 30th. The 2015 Apprenticeship Program The Apprenticeship Program is a six-month, full-time residential training at the 30-acre organic farm and 3-acre Alan Chadwick Garden on the UCSC campus. Each year, the apprenticeship program trains 39 adults in the concepts and practices of organic gardening and small-scale sustainable farming through...
Written by Jon Knapp on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 on CCOF, marketing

As 2014 is quickly passing, our magazine team is busy planning the 2015 Editorial Calendar for Certified Organic magazine. We diligently fashion our magazine topics to best suit organic farmers, processors, and consumers. If you’re not familiar with our quarterly publication, Certified Organic includes the latest hot topics in organic. Our vision is to inspire, build community, and educate certified-organic producers on the full breadth of CCOF and organic industry activity. These are some of the topics to look forward to in 2015: Spring 2015: Future Organic Farmers – Making the Difference!...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 on farming: materials and inputs, inputs, NOSB

Please complete the following surveys prepared by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). The surveys compile information on crop and processing materials pending review before the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Your feedback on these materials is critical because it will help shape CCOF comments and testimony to the NOSB.   Background NOSB advises the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on which substances should be allowed or prohibited in organic farming and processing based on criteria under the Organic Foods Production Act. Generally, synthetic substances are prohibited...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 on CCOF, policy

IntroductionKelly Damewood, CCOF Policy Director David Lester, student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, recently completed a summer internship with CCOF. Over the course of two months, he completed an in-depth review of county regulations that may support or encourage certified organic agriculture. Read on for an interesting and worthwhile summary of his findings. For over thirty years, CCOF – one of the first organic certification agencies in the United States – has worked on landmark law and policy such as the California Organic Food Act of 1979 and the National Organic Program (NOP). CCOF...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 18, 2014 on

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been sponsoring organic farming research, education, outreach, and competitive grant making programs for over 20 years! They are currently hiring for three positions in Santa Cruz, California. If you want to join this fantastic organization, email your résumé to jobs@ofrf.org. The positions are detailed below: Research Program Director This new, senior level position provides an exciting opportunity for the right candidate to build on OFRF’s body of work, to develop programs that encourage more...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 18, 2014 on directory, marketing

The CCOF Organic Directory is the largest publication of its kind in the organic industry, listing over 1,500 products and services from more than 2,700 certified members. Help your listing stand out by adding a full-color business logo to your free client listing in each upcoming edition of CCOF's Organic Directory & Resource Guide, which is distributed annually to more than 4,000 organic consumers, producers, buyers, and suppliers. The one-time $100 Enhanced Directory Listing fee places your logo alongside your standard listing, highlighting and promoting your product to customers and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 18, 2014 on fees

Military veterans may be eligible for fee waivers under the California State Organic Program. Notably, the fee waiver only applies to fees associated with the California State Organic Program; the waiver does not apply to fees associated with the National Organic Program. Under the Business License, Tax, and Fee Waiver benefit, California state agencies may waive certain business license fees, taxes, and other fees for honorably discharged veterans who sell goods, wares, or merchandise owned by the veteran, except for alcoholic beverages. In some cases, the benefit covers agricultural goods,...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 18, 2014 on CCOF, inspection


We’re excited to share blog resources with the FarmsReach community! Every two months, we will highlight a roundup of each other’s blog features. Their most recent blog series focused on Labor & Worker Safety. Below is a summary of the practical information they shared. Enjoy! How to Survive Labor Audits & Avoid Big Fines “In July 2011, Paul was expecting a visit from the California State Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), as they were in the area inspecting farms for heat safety issues. When the DIR arrived at his farm and began interviewing his employees, they didn’t find...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 11, 2014 on marketing, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is currently in the process of evaluating the Organic Check-off program, which would fund research and aid in promotion of organic agriculture. Other “check-off programs” include the “Got Milk?” campaign and The Wool Trust, which provides grant opportunities to assist the expansion of wool development in the United States. These existing programs are wonderful agricultural opportunities, but they don’t necessarily fulfill the needs of organic farmers and producers. A Consumer Reports survey highlighted that shoppers now credit “natural” with attributes that...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 11, 2014 on farmers markets


Last week, CCOF celebrated the 15th annual “National Farmers Market Week.” Among the many causes for celebration, CCOF joined the USDA in applauding increased access to farmers’ markets across the United States.  The number of listed farmers’ markets totals 8,268, according to the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory, an online tool with a searchable database for information such as directions, operating times, and product offerings. California has the most farmers’ markets of any other state, but all geographic regions have seen an overall increase in markets since 2008, according to a...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 4, 2014 on CCOF, export, trade

CCOF is honored to have our President of CCOF Certification Services, LLC, Jake Lewin, travel with Governor Jerry Brown's Mexico Trade Delegation. This trade mission was intended to address trade issues between California and Mexico. An agricultural delegation led by California Secretary of Agriculture, Karen Ross, addressed important agricultural issues. A growing trade in organic products in both directions in addition to the current implementation of Mexico’s organic standards made this an important opportunity for addressing the needs of CCOF members. Other participants included Craig...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, August 4, 2014 on CCOF

CCOF is offering a special merchandise deal for the entire month of August. For those of you who are looking to start or expand your CCOF gear, this offer just for you! Show your organic pride with our 100% organic long-sleeve t-shirt, limited-edition fabric bag, and two bumper stickers. This deal retails at $40, but for a limited time we’re offering the bundle for $30 with free shipping. Use promotion code *FS0814. Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts! *Free shipping on orders within the United States only. Offer limited to one per household. 
Written by Jane Sooby and Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 4, 2014 on certification process, marketing

The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) recently published the Vegetable Grower’s Guide to Organic Certification. The guide, written by certified organic farmer Emily Oakley at the request of NYFC, explains the value of organic certification and breaks down the application process for vegetable growers interested in taking the next steps. The guide not only explains the history of the organic movement, but also highlights several compelling reasons for certification. Oakley comments that certification allows operations to sell at better prices, builds credibility with new customers, and...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 28, 2014 on assistance, funding

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced that the deadline for applying for certification cost-share is now November 29, 2014. The new deadline is earlier than previously announced. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 may apply for reimbursement. The cost-share program refunds 75% of certification-related fees up to a maximum of $750 per scope of operation. Learn more and apply for this program.

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