CCOF Bylaws Vote

To ensure that all CCOF-certified members are represented at the board of directors level, members must approve changes to the CCOF bylaws that will allow the board to establish new chapters. This fall, all certified members will have the opportunity to vote to amend CCOF’s membership bylaws accordingly. In September, members will receive ballots and materials and will have 30 days to respond. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws.
About the Amendments
The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters that include currently unrepresented members (those chapters will then be allowed to elect their representatives to the board of directors), improve board operations, and support growth of the CCOF Foundation. 
  • The CCOF Board of Directors will have the ability to form at-large chapters to ensure that every certified member is represented at the board level (currently, farmers outside of California and Mexico chapters are not represented at the board level). To keep the size of the board at an effective working level, formation of new chapters will require that at least 50, rather than 20, members petition the board for member-initiated chapter formation.
  • The size of the CCOF Board of Directors will be limited to 17 members. This reflects best practices for effective non-profit boards of directors.
  • Board terms will be extended by one year (from two to three) and have overlap to ensure continuity. As CCOF grows and business operations become more complex, it takes time for board members to get to know the organization’s internal workings and their roles and to become effective leaders. 
  • CCOF will establish tax-deductible supporting memberships for non-certified members within the CCOF Foundation, which will encourage broader public engagement in the important work of the foundation. 
About Voting
Based on the quorum requirement for bylaws amendments, at least 10 percent of certified members must complete the voting process, and of those voting, at least a majority of voting members must approve the proposed bylaws amendments.  
By September 1, you will receive a copy of the current bylaws with proposed amendments, voting instructions, and a self-addressed envelope for returning your vote. The voting materials will be sent to you by an impartial, election management service provider and will also include a link for an online ballot, should you choose to vote electronically. 
On behalf of the board committee on bylaws, I appreciate your participation in this vote. Watch your mailbox in September and make sure you vote by the October 2 deadline. 
About CCOF and How We Accomplish Our Work

CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. We advocate on behalf of our members for organic policies, support the growth of organic through education and grants, and provide organic certification that is personal and accessible. We are uniquely positioned to advance organic agriculture as a member-driven, organic-focused nonprofit organization with a commitment to giving back.

As outlined in CCOF’s 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, CCOF fulfills its mission through a tri-part structure. The umbrella entity, CCOF, Inc., is governed by a member-elected board of directors and headed by an Executive Director/CEO. CCOF Certification Services, LLC, established in 2003 is a wholly owned subsidiary of CCOF, Inc. and is governed by a management committee appointed by the CCOF, Inc. Board of Directors. CCOF Certification Services is led by a staff executive (President) who is hired by the management committee. Also established in 2003 is the CCOF Foundation. Its governing trustees are appointed by CCOF, Inc.
This article was submitted by Malcolm Ricci. 
Malcolm Ricci is the organic operations coordinator at CCOF-certified Bolthouse Farms. Ricci is a member of the CCOF Kern Chapter and serves as Vice Chair on the CCOF Board of Directors.