From Field to Forum

Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, June 9, 2014 on foundation, funding, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Grants


The deadlines for two categories of the CCOF Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund is fast approaching. In a statewide partnership with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, kindergarten through eighth grade grants of $1,000 are currently available for organic classroom projects in California schools. Applications Due: Friday June 13. Apply now! Made possible through a collaboration with UNFI, direct grants of $2,500 for vocational and higher education in organic agriculture are now available for students across the United States. Applications Due: Friday June 13. Apply now!...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 2, 2014 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy


The CCOF Board of Directors voted in mid-May to adopt a strong GMO policy shared by CCOF’s strategic partner, the Organic Trade Association. The policy calls for a moratorium on production of genetically modified crops until more research on their environmental and potential health issues has been conducted, and a meaningful regulatory framework is in place. The CCOF board also reiterated its support for mandatory GMO labeling. Earlier this year, CCOF wrote a letter to California Congresswoman Noreen Evans expressing support for her bill that would require labeling of GMOs in all foods...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, June 2, 2014 on member news


Woodleaf Farm and Pomotierra are celebrating 32 years of certification with CCOF. Only 23 of nearly 2,800 clients have been certified for over 30 years. This is a monumental accomplishment and we wish them continued success in the coming years! Woodleaf Farm Woodleaf Farm produces almost 200 varieties of fruit that all provide excellent fruit in their Mediterranean-like environment. They pride themselves in being a leader in two important areas of organic fruit production: farm design, to suppress insect and disease pests; and systems soil management, to improve plant health. They also...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 on grower, inputs, materials, pests and pesticides


Organic citrus growers have spent more than a year now wading through the decision-making process for policies regarding the spread and eradication of Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and the deadly disease it can spread, Huanglongbing (HLB) or Citrus Greening. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) relies on a group of scientists known as the Science Advisory Panel (SAP) for recommendations about trapping and testing protocols, eradication zones, quarantines, and which materials are approved for control and/or eradication. The SAP met in December in Ontario, CA and issued their...
Written by Laura McKissack on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 on directory, marketing, MyCCOF

CCOF is the only full-service organic certification agency and trade association. Our certified members receive full trade association benefits, including advocacy, education, networking opportunities, and marketing support. We want to help our certified members grow their businesses, and in doing so the organic marketplace. One way we promote our members is by maintaining a searchable online directory of our certified operations. Those looking to find organic products or services can search by keyword, location, or sales method, including Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers'...
Written by Cathy Calfo and Jake Lewin on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 on advocacy, NOP, NOSB, standards

In recent weeks we at CCOF have observed a variety of activities and discussions about organic certification and organic standards. In the week following the April National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting, the Accredited Certifiers Association issued a noteworthy letter supporting the USDA and NOP. See CCOF’s thoughts on the sunset process change when they were announced last fall. At CCOF we believe that everyone is welcome to their opinions. We know that organic standards and certification systems are stronger and stricter than they’ve ever been. Our focus is making meaningful...
Written by Gamai Gregory on Thursday, May 8, 2014 on Brazil, export, international


On April 29-30, 2014, three federal inspectors from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA), and a USDA/Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) Brazil Agricultural Marketing Specialist, toured CCOF-certified farms in the Davis, CA area. The tour was organized through the USDA Cochran Fellowship Program, with the help of CCOF’s Gamai Gregory and Sean Feder. During their visit, the federal inspectors were guided through the U.S. Organic certification process, and CCOF programs and procedures. They visited the UC Davis Student Farm, hosted by Raoul Adamchak; and Dixon Ridge Farms, hosted by...
Written by Jane Sooby on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 on grower, pests and pesticides

The bagrada bug, referred to as an “invasive stink bug” by researchers, is often seen as a mating couple on brassica family plants. A native of the African and Asian continents, this insect first made its appearance in the western United States in 2008. Since then, its American range has spread east from Los Angeles County to Arizona and areas of southern Nevada, Utah, and west-central New Mexico. It has been found as far north as Monterey County. The insect has orange and white markings on its body and can be mistaken for the harlequin bug; however, it is much smaller than the harlequin bug...
Written by Brise Tencer on Monday, May 5, 2014 on advocacy, livestock, NOP, NOSB, policy, standards


CCOF believes that organic livestock standards should require humane and ethical treatment of animals during all stages of production, including transport and slaughter. CCOF, consistent with our mission and principles, has long advocated for NOP standards that ensure outdoor and soil access. In December 2011, the NOSB unanimously passed a recommendation on Animal Welfare and Stocking Rates that capped off several years of work on these subjects. The NOSB recommendations were consistent with CCOF and other organizations’ recommendations. In June 2013, the NOP released a report on the economic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, May 2, 2014 on grower


California state Assembly Members Susan Eggman and Luis Alejo introduced a resolution on April 21 celebrating National Strawberry Month, which will begin May 1 and continue throughout the month. The resolution has passed the Assembly and is headed to the Senate. The resolution’s language includes as one of its “whereas”es that “California grows more strawberries than any other place in the world, … and more organic strawberries than all 49 other states combined.” The resolution recognizes strawberries as a “quintessential California crop that sustains families, communities, the environment,...
Written by Brise Tencer on Monday, April 28, 2014 on NOSB, standards

The spring 2014 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 29 - May 2 in San Antonio, Texas. The NOSB will take up a slate of issues left over from fall 2013, when the meeting was cancelled due to lack of a federal budget. CCOF will be represented at the meeting by staff and board members. We expect an array of interesting discussions and hot topics. View the meeting agenda online.   CCOF will report back to our members on outcomes from the meeting. In the meantime, you can read CCOF’s comments on the various proposals and discussion documents below. Streptomycin (...
Written by Jane Sooby on Thursday, April 24, 2014 on education


Where would you go to college if you wanted to become an organic farmer? There’s a lot to be said for the “school of hard knocks” and experience from which most of the world’s farmers graduate in order to become successful. The rare individual who grows up on a family farm is raised to appreciate the work ethic and practical savvy it takes to run a farm business. At the same time, the intimate knowledge of the hard labor and long hours that it takes to farm successfully often turns farm kids toward other careers. Rural America can also hold less attraction for many young people who prefer to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 21, 2014 on grower, help and tips, seeds


In the past, it was a challenge for many organic farmers to source organic seed. Fortunately, there are now a number of resources available to make it easier for farmers to find organic seed or to produce it themselves. These resources include the new Organic Seed Finder website, Organic Seed Alliance’s seed production publications, and the eOrganic Seed Resource Guide. Organic Seed Finder, hosted and managed by the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), was launched in October 2012 and serves as a free resource for farmers, certifiers, and other stakeholders looking to...
Written by Jane Sooby on Thursday, April 3, 2014 on assistance, drought, funding


As organic operations face unprecedented drought conditions in the western region in 2014, CCOF continues to provide support and information to help organic operations through this difficult time. We are pleased to announce availability of special hardship funds for any certified organic producers who are having a hard time making ends meet this spring due to damage caused by drought. ¿Necesita información en español? Thanks to a special grant from Farm Aid, CCOF is joining with Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) to make these funds available to growers affected by the drought....
Written by Jane Sooby on Thursday, April 3, 2014 on NOSB, regulatory, standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is the advisory committee that advises the Secretary of Agriculture on implementation of the Organic Foods Production Act. There are currently four seats open on the NOSB: environmentalist, organic producer, organic handler, and retailer with significant trade in organic products. NOSB members are volunteers who represent the diversity of the organic community. They are appointed for five-year terms and are expected to attend meetings twice a year, participate in conference calls bimonthly or more, review materials on the National List of Allowed...

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