COPAC Elects New Leadership & Increases Enforcement at Restaurants Making Organic Claims

The members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) elected new leadership at their meeting during the annual EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, California. The committee elected Karen Archipley of Archi’s Acres as chair of the committee and Jeremy Johnson of Traditional Medicinals as vice chair.
 
COPAC is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic agriculture and issues related to organic production. COPAC’s 15 members and 15 alternate members represent organic producers, wholesalers, technical representatives, environmental representatives, processors, consumers, retailers, and accredited certifiers. The committee works closely with the California State Organic Program (SOP) and receives updates on organic compliance and enforcement within the state.
 
Karen Archipley previously served as vice chair to the committee and replaces Mindee Jeffery of Good Earth Natural Foods as chair. She is a producer member of COPAC and is the board representative of CCOF’s Pacific Southwest Chapter. 
 
Jeremy Johnson serves as a processor member of COPAC and replaces Karen Archipley as vice chair. He is the president of CCOF’s Processor/Handler Chapter. 
 
During the meeting, COPAC passed a motion recommending that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) prioritize inspecting restaurants that make organic claims but are not certified organic. CDPH does periodic inspections of restaurants as part of their routine surveillance, but the recommendation will focus additional resources on restaurants making organic claims. 
 
COPAC also voted to convene two new subcommittees: a processor subcommittee to discuss implementing an online registration process for organic processors and a glyphosate subcommittee to determine what, if any, actions the SOP should take on the controversial herbicide. 
 
SOP staff circulated a list of accomplishments to date, noting efforts made to streamline CDFA registration, improve enforcement, expand outreach and communication, empower and energize COPAC, and integrate organic throughout the California Department of Food and Agriculture and other agencies. They also noted that California state registration fees are now eligible for organic certification Cost Share reimbursement.
 
The SOP also announced several open seats on COPAC:
Processor member
Technical representative
Consumer representative
Accredited certified representative 
 
Numerous alternate positions are also open.
 
To apply for an open position, fill out the application form and submit it to Thomas Osborn:
 
Attn: Thomas Osborn
CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture
2800 Gateway Oaks Dr., Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95833
 
CCOF policy staff are available to assist with applications and questions about serving on COPAC. Please contact policy@ccof.org for more information. 

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