Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so the GRO Organic Steering Committee...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Zackery, Dylan, Josaphine

Through our Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, the CCOF Foundation has partnered with the National FFA Organization (FFA) to provide just under $100,000 in grants to middle and high school students for organic Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) projects over the last six years. CCOF Foundation Program Manager Josaphine Stevenson recently attended FFA’s National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Convention and Expo were attended by 67,000 FFA students from across the nation.  Stevenson had an opportunity to meet several talented students who received CCOF’s organic SAE grants this...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 5, 2018 on advocacy, financial assistance, grants

Win up to $10,000 for your farm  Local produce distributors, in partnership with PRO*ACT, are inviting qualifying farms to apply for Cultivating Change Grants to pay for certification costs, marketing, infrastructure projects, and capacity building. With a total of $85,000 available for farms looking to fund new and innovative projects, these grants seek to promote a culture of sustainability in the fresh food supply chain by encouraging innovation and environmentalism to local farms nationwide.   2017 winner Arizona Microgreens used their $5,000 grant for a germination chamber, optimizing...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

This is the last week to purchase tickets for the November 7 food safety workshop in Santa Rosa, California that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers. Thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, workshop tickets only cost $35 per attendee. Without grant support, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person. If you can’t make it to the November 7 workshop, the CCOF Foundation is offering additional workshops in January 2019. These workshops are hosted as pre-conference events at the 2019 EcoFarm...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Last week, USDA announced it will propose rulemaking on adverse actions appeals process within the national organic standards.  The proposed rule will streamline the appeals process and ensure that the National Organic Program (NOP) can more efficiently stop producers from marketing noncompliant products as organic.  The rulemaking is part of USDA’s broad strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports. In July, NOP hosted a virtual town hall to engage organic stakeholders as they begin the rulemaking process and is focusing on ten topic areas: — Federated organic certificates— Satellite...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is accepting public comments on modified cannabis cultivation regulations until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5. Comments may be submitted to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa.ca.gov or mailed to: Amanda Brown, Regulations CoordinatorCalifornia Department of Food and AgricultureCalCannabis Cultivation Licensing DivisionP.O. Box 942871Sacramento, CA 94271 The proposed changes are in response to comments received to comments received during the notice of proposed rulemaking and hearings conducted in July and August 2018. CCOF submitted public comments on the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

Sponsorship opportunities are available for The Organic Center’s 16th Annual Benefit Dinner on March 6, 2019! Make your commitment now to maximize the return on your sponsorship. This can't-miss event is the biggest all-organic dinner and premier executive-level networking event at Natural Products Expo West. Hundreds of organic visionaries, activists, and businesses come together to enjoy an organic feast and raise money to support the latest science on the environmental and health benefits of organic food and farming. Your sponsorship supports the critical work of The Organic Center and it...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, member news

Last week, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 25 members to the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Secretary Perdue appointed CCOF members Jeff Huckaby of Cal-Organic Farms, Brian Kirschenmann of Kirschenmann Farms, and Kelly Carl Ely of FreshPoint to the committee. The appointed members will serve two-year terms on the FVIAC. The committee was originally chartered in 2001 to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Committee members represent organic and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is moving forward with a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education program.  OTA led efforts over the past couple years to create a national certified organic marketing order under USDA: GRO Organic. The program was initially proposed by OTA in 2015 and USDA released the proposed rule in 2017. Almost 15,000 public comments were received on the proposed rule. However, this spring USDA unexpectedly terminated the rulemaking process of the program before a referendum vote of all organic producers subject to the program was held. ...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, NOP, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted 10 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2018 NOSB meeting. NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall the meeting will be held on October 24-26, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the meeting in St. Paul, the board will complete the 2020 Sunset Reviews and NOSB will vote to relist or remove the substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will also vote and discuss other items. CCOF submitted the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, import and export, policy

Organic seed producers and companies making out-of-state sales may be impacted by the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States on South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The decision allows states to charge sales tax on out-of-state purchases, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state. Some states have begun requiring out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales tax on purchases, while others are setting or have set effective implementation dates.  Each state is implementing different criteria for taxable sales: some require sales tax if the seller...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, education, events, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, general organic


Rhyne Cureton

Rhyne Cureton, a 2018 CCOF Foundation Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund recipient, has joined the agenda of speakers for the 2018 “We Are Organic” Dinner at the Organic Grower Summit on December 12 in Monterey, California. Cureton was born in rural Monroe, North Carolina but has lived most of his life in the metropolitan city of Charlotte. His family is two generations removed from agriculture. At an early age, Cureton realized a great disconnect between modern agricultural practices and nature. Later at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (a land-grant university),...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, policy

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will hold a public hearing and commenting period regarding the designation of chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant. Chlorpyrifos is a prohibited pesticide in organic production.  DPR will accept written comments on chlorpyrifos until 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2018. Comments can be submitted electronically to dpr18002@cdpr.ca.gov or via fax to (916) 324-1491.  DPR will hold a public hearing on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at: California Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters BuildingSierra Hearing Room1001 I...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Assembly Bill 2377, authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier today. This bill funds technical assistance for farmers and ranchers seeking to transition to Climate Smart Agriculture. “As California continues to lead the way in climate change, it’s imperative that we assist all industries so that they adopt practices that will help achieve our climate goals,” said Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin. “I’m grateful that the governor saw the need to improve these programs as a vital piece of hitting our climate objectives.” California...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 24, 2018 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and the other NOSB agenda items.Click here to read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews).Crop scope substances:Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanolSodium carbonate peroxyhydrateNewspaper...

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