Blog posts by CCOF

Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic


Resilience

Dear CCOF Family,2020 has been a wild ride. A national pandemic, a looming recession, a racial injustice reckoning, and now unprecedented wildfires sweeping through CCOF’s hometown of Santa Cruz, California and across Northern California.  But, despite it all, CCOF is stronger than ever before. We implemented successful emergency preparedness strategies, including securing our company and member data to ensure as little interruption in services as possible. Additionally, our skilled remote workforce ensures stability when staff and members experience geographic-specific natural disasters.We...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, policy

Dear CCOF Members and Supporters, Each summer, we write to you to tell you about all the things you’ve helped CCOF accomplish in the previous year. As we sit down now to reflect on 2019—in the middle of 2020 and the coronavirus pandemic—it almost feels like another lifetime ago with how much the world has changed in such a short time. But what we learned and achieved in 2019 can help us chart the path forward. We can’t know what healing and renewal for the world will look like after this crisis ends. But what I do know is that CCOF members will be there every step of the way to feed, nourish...
Written by Jane Wade on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 on CCOF, general organic

Have you ever been asked to make organic products? During these uncertain times it can be hard to envision change, but this might be the perfect time to consider adding organic products to your line. With the expanding consumer demand for organic products, brand owners are looking for co-packers to make their products and retailers are looking for organic versions of existing products.  The USDA organic regulations are not as complicated as they may seem. If you have a HAACP plan, SSOP, allergen control plan, or other traceability system, you already have the structure you need to handle...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, NOP

The Policy Team and Certification staff are gearing up for the release of proposed changes to the National Organic Program (NOP). While the official rule, called the Strengthening Organic Enforcement proposed rule, is not out yet, the NOP has released a pre-published draft and other resources on their website. OTA has also compiled a 10 page summary. We expect the proposed rule to:Reduce the types of uncertified entities in the organic supply chain (importers, brokers, traders)Require the use of NOP Import Certificates for all organic products entering the United StatesClarify NOP oversight...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news


CCOF shares a big appreciation to Bill Reynolds of Eel River Produce in Humboldt County for his expertise in seed breeding and commitment to organic agriculture. Reynolds, a certified organic farmer since 1989, is an organic farmer specializing in dry farming and known for developing the dark start zucchini, Eel River melon, stella blue squash, and other crops.  As told by Zea Sonnabend in an issue of Certified Organic, over twenty years ago Reynolds was having a difficult time finding a zucchini desirable for wholesalers. He worked with John Navazio to cross the hybrid “Raven” and heirloom “...
Written by Allison Stafford on Monday, July 13, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news


Sprouts in a bowl

The CCOF family is ever-growing and we are extremely proud of our organic farmers and producers working to make the world a better place! Each new member brings CCOF closer to its mission to make organic the norm.  We would like to highlight a couple of newly certified organic operations who have joined the CCOF family, Bare Sprouts and 12 Tides. As mission-driven operations, these young companies are creating positive change through what we eat.  We look forward to years of partnership and success with each! Bare SproutsBare Sprouts is an indoor sprout farm located in Tempe, Arizona, the...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, June 29, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

When COVID-19 struck, farmers were already facing significant challenges. Low prices combined with rising production costs, labor shortages, and climate change impacts resulted in 58 percent of California’s farms operating with net losses in 2017. Today, organic farmers and businesses are working around the clock to adjust to new conditions. CCOF compiled this overview based on agricultural and market research and qualitative data from a sample of CCOF producers, processors, and businesses (30 chapter leaders and 192 survey responses). Please let us know if we have missed your experience at...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 29, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic, marketing

If there has been anything I have learned from experiencing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic these past few months, it is how amazing my farming community has been in rising up to meet the needs of their community and supporting each other. We make up truly important, interconnected food webs within the local food shed. We may grow different crops, but we all have a strong work ethic and the desire to feed people local food. I believe it is crucial that we see our farmer peers not as competition, but as collaborators working towards the same goal. There is plenty to go around. We are...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news

Jeff Huckaby, president of CCOF-certified Grimmway Farms and Cal-Organic Farms, has received the Organic Trade Association’s prestigious Farmer of the Year award for 2020. Huckaby is a fourth generation farmer who discovered a passion for growing organic carrots over 20 years ago when he first started experimenting with organic practices. He has since led the expansion of Grimmway and Cal-Organic’s organic production to more than 45,000 acres of certified organic vegetables in five states. He is a leader in organic marketing as well, convincing Costco to stock only organic carrots in their...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, June 9, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic


Black Lives Matter

Dear CCOF Family,  The unjust killing and systemic oppression of Black lives transcends politics—it speaks to the deepest core of our humanity.  We are deeply disturbed by the unjust murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Dreasjon Reed, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and David McAtee. We understand that these are the most recent tragedies, and countless Black lives have been lost to racist violence in the United States.  Like all predominantly white communities, CCOF must grapple with its own role in systemic racism. Our agriculture and food systems are built on a history of racism,...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

Applications opened last week for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP is a USDA program that will provide $16 billion in direct aid to farmers who suffered losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications and payments will be processed through the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  CCOF recognizes that this program has structural flaws that will prevent many of our members from accessing desperately-needed financial relief. We are working to advocate for improvements to this program. If you would like to contact us about your experience with CFAP, please email us at policy@...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


I sat down with Farm to Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to discuss why organic matters with him. We dove right into CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, a first-of-its-kind research project that investigates how organic is a solution to California’s toughest challenges. From the climate crisis to economic and health inequities, I walked Wasson through organic’s role in addressing these issues, and more. Let’s consider climate change, for example. We know that organic farms combat climate change because they build healthy soils that store carbon and reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, April 13, 2020 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, crisis resilience, general organic, we are essential


We Are Essential

“We Are Essential” is a blog series that explores how the organic community is navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our farms, ranches, and businesses deliver truly essential services, staying open and in the field to provide nutritious food to our communities. Each week, we will share a new story that highlights how organic is critical to the global response. We welcome hearing how you are impacted and invite you to email us at policy@ccof.org. We also have a list of crisis resilience resources to help you weather the COVID-19 pandemic. Resilience is about bouncing back after a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 13, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, general organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) recognizes the unique needs of the farmer, rancher, and producer community as it navigates the current pandemic.  OTA’s next COVID-19 webinar on Wednesday, April 15 at 11:00 a.m. PDT will allow you to learn about new and existing programs designed specifically to meet your needs. Organic producers will have the opportunity to speak directly to those who will implement and oversee provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act designed to benefit agricultural operations.  On the webinar will be Katie Naessens, senior...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 on CCOF, crisis resilience, directory, general organic, we are essential


We Are Essential

“We Are Essential” is a blog series that explores how the organic community is navigating the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our farms, ranches, and businesses deliver truly essential services, staying open and in the field to provide nutritious food to our communities. Each week, we will share a new story that highlights how organic is critical to the global response. We welcome hearing how you are impacted and invite you to email us at policy@ccof.org. We also have a list of crisis resilience resources to help you weather the COVID-19 pandemic.  As an organic farmer for almost two decades...

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