California Organic Food and Farming Act Moves Forward

CCOF-sponsored AB 1826—the California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA), authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay)—passed the California Assembly Agriculture Committee in a unanimous, bipartisan vote in favor of reducing fee and paperwork burdens on California’s organic producers.

COFFA is now moving through the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Once approved by Appropriations, it will go to a vote by the full California Assembly. Once it passes the Assembly, it moves into the California Senate Agricultural Committee and, ultimately, to the floor of the state senate. Contact your state representative today and voice support for organic farmers.

Over 200 people have already signed petitions and/or sent a letter to their state representatives voicing support for the bill. CCOF continues to gather signatures and letters because this support is persuasive to lawmakers. See who supports the bill and read about the ways you can get involved.

Earlier this year, Assemblymember Stone wrote and introduced the bill with sponsorship from CCOF. He presented the bill to the Assembly Agriculture Committee on April 20, 2016. CCOF’s Executive Director/CEO Cathy Calfo and CCOF-certified organic farmer Thaddeus Barsotti of Capay Organic spoke in favor of the legislation at the hearing, commenting on behalf of over 2,500 CCOF-certified organic producers and processors in California.

California’s organic producers submit annual fees and paperwork to the State Organic Program (SOP) that duplicate requirements mandated by USDA’s National Organic Program. California is the only state that imposes these requirements on its organic producers. COFFA will allow organic certifying agents to submit the fees and paperwork to the state on behalf of organic producers.

“AB 1826 levels the playing field for California’s certified organic farmers. Without this bill, we will continue to pay unfair fees and cope with dizzying paperwork mazes that operations in every other state don’t face,” explained Barsotti.

The bill will also update the role of the SOP by allowing the California Secretary of Agriculture and the SOP advisory committee to support organic agriculture through education, outreach, and other programmatic activities.

Learn more and track the progress of the bill.

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