Blog posts by advocacy

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

Due to overwhelming support from CCOF members, the California State Assembly voted to approve Assembly Bill (AB) 1826—the California Organic Food and Farming Act—and forward it to the California Senate. Please join the 235 individuals and businesses who publicly support AB 1826. Write your senator today and show your support! The bill is expected to be voted out of the California Senate Committee on Agriculture this week and then move to the Senate Committee on Appropriations. The California Organic Food and Farming Act (AB 1826) will: Eliminate duplicative paperwork for certified organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, livestock, policy

Please send a letter to your U.S. senator today and urge them to vote NO on any amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations bill that interferes with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ability to keep organic animal welfare standards strong. Send an electronic letter directly to your senators. Here’s the issue: The National Organic Program (NOP) released a Proposed Rule on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices in April. This proposed rule addresses a wide range of issues raised by the National Organic Standards Board, the federally-empowered advisory body to the Secretary...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is holding a hearing on July 5, 2016, in Sacramento on proposed changes to the law that regulates fertilizer production and sales in California. CDFA is also accepting comments on these proposed changes through June 27, 2016. Proposed changes include: A list of ingredients in decreasing amounts is required for packaged soil amendments and organic input material (OIM) bulk soil amendments. Liquid OIMs with a nitrogen guarantee greater than 3 percent must submit an OIM inspection report annually. The Secretary of Agriculture will...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy

This week the California State Legislature sent the fiscal year 2016-17 budget to Governor Jerry Brown without deciding how the state would spend billions in climate change investments. Among the programs waiting for a decision on funding are the Healthy Soils Initiative, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), the Dairy Methane Program, and the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program. What gives? The cap-and-trade program was created under California’s climate change law, AB 32. Cap-and-trade limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the biggest polluters in...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Agriculture on California’s State Organic Program’s enforcement activities. The members are made up of six producers (at least one producer of meat, fowl, fish, dairy products, or eggs); two processors; one wholesale distributor; two consumer representatives; one environmental representative; two technical representatives with scientific credentials related to agricultural chemicals, toxicology, or food science; and one retail representative. Each member on the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

A crucial milestone in the California Organic Food and Farming Act’s progress occurred on Friday, May 27, when the bill, AB 1826, was forwarded out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Chaired by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, the Appropriations Committee is responsible for assessing the fiscal impact of all bills. Many CCOF members sent letters of support to Assemblymember Gonzalez and helped move the bill out of committee. The next stop for AB 1826 is the floor of the California Assembly. A vote may be scheduled as soon as Tuesday, May 31. Once it passes the Assembly, it will go...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met at the end of April to hear public comment, discuss the 2018 Sunset Materials, and vote on a number of proposals. NOSB also welcomed six new board members at the April meeting, including CCOF member Jesse Buie! Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on 12 proposals during the spring 2016 meeting. Most notably, NOSB voted on multiple proposals to change the use of parasiticides in organic livestock production. NOSB made a final recommendation to update organic regulatory language to require: “That parasiticides continue to be...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 2, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

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...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 25, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The spring 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 25-27 in Washington, D.C. This biannual meeting impacts which materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). NOSB will review a diverse set of materials at the meeting, including copper sulfate used in organic rice production and carrageenan used in organic processing. CCOF Certification Services President Jake Lewin will attend the in-person...
Written by Valerie George and Jane Sooby on Monday, April 11, 2016 on advocacy, livestock, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) announced on April 7, 2016, that it will propose amending the organic livestock and poultry production requirements. The proposed regulation, which is based on recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board, is an effort to achieve consistency in organic livestock practices. It covers a range of topics including health care practices and living conditions for organic animals. Here are some of the highlights of the proposed rule: It sets forth separate living condition standards for mammals (e.g., cattle, sheep, and pigs) and poultry. It specifies...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 4, 2016 on advocacy, events, policy, State Organic Program

CCOF invites you to join an informational webinar on AB 1826—The California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA)—a bill introduced by California Assemblymember Mark Stone to level the playing field for California’s organic producers and update the role of the State Organic Program. CCOF’s Executive Director/CEO Cathy Calfo, Policy Director Kelly Damewood, and guest presenters will be available to answer your questions about AB 1826 during a free webinar on Tuesday, April 12, from 10-11 a.m. PDT. Participants will learn about the bill and CCOF’s strategy to pass it. Plus, find out what you can...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 4, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

Don’t miss out! Submit your feedback to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)1 before the April 14 deadline. NOSB will meet April 25-27 in Washington, D.C. to review organic materials and standards. During the April meeting, NOSB will review numerous materials, including copper sulfate used in organic rice production and carrageenan used in organic processing. Your operation may be affected! To advocate on your behalf, CCOF will submit comments on materials and standards, but NOSB needs to hear from you, too! Advocate for and protect the integrity of organic standards by simply: Giving...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 28, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy

Spring has arrived and the next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting is just around the corner! It’s time to submit comments on materials and weigh in on NOSB recommendations to the National Organic Program (NOP). Spring 2016 Meeting The next NOSB meeting will be April 25-27 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. NOSB is a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other representatives, which recommends changes and adjustments to organic standards to the USDA NOP. NOSB reviews all materials allowed in organic production on a five-year cycle, known as the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 28, 2016 on advocacy, genetic engineering, policy

After pulling some political shenanigans in the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, committee chair Pat Roberts failed to gain the votes needed to move the anti-GMO labeling bill forward. The bill popularly known as the DARK Act—an acronym for Deny Americans the Right to Know—was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last year and forwarded to the Senate. The bill preempts states’ ability to require GMO labeling of food products and creates a voluntary labeling system. Political observers note that politicians are feeling pressure to pass legislation to head off implementation of...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 28, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

CCOF is proudly sponsoring California Central Coast Assemblymember Mark Stone’s recently-introduced bill—the California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA), AB 1826. COFFA will update the California State Organic Program to cap fees, eliminate paperwork for certified organic producers, and create a state framework that better supports organic farmers and businesses. The California Organic Food and Farming Act, AB 1826, will: End redundant SOP registration paperwork for certified organic operations by requiring accredited certification agencies (ACAs) to annually submit to the state the same...

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