Blog posts by general organic

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, grower, regulatory


veggies

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend a workshop that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers at a discounted rate.  Normally, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person, but thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the CCOF Foundation is offering these trainings for $35 per attendee. The ticket price includes course materials, lunch, and certificate fees.   Workshops will be held throughout California, including locations near Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, Petaluma, and Monterey. The Fresno, San...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, research

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.   Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues: Cropping and tillage systems that build soil health...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on events, general organic


Each year the EcoFarm Conference kicks off with a popular all-day farm bus tour. This year, the tour was titled “Organic Farming On and Near the Hollister Plain” and brought participants to farms and ranches in the Hollister area, including three CCOF-certified operations: Coke Farm, Morris Grassfed, and Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce.   The packed tour began at Coke Farm with Dale and Christine Coke explaining the services they provide to bolster their local community of organic farmers. Coke Farm pioneered organic strawberry growing and spring mixes, and was one of the first CCOF-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, January 22, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, grower, handler

Sacramento, February 22-23 Join CCOF at the Organic Hotspots conference on February 22-23, 2018, in Sacramento. This event is open to the public and registration information can be found at www.ccof.org/2018-event.   The Organic Hotspot study recently conducted by Penn State Agricultural Economist Dr. Edward Jaenicke demonstrated conclusively that median household incomes increase and poverty rates decrease as a direct result of organic food and crop production by county, especially when organic businesses exist in clusters, or “hotspots.”   The conference will feature keynote speaker Glenda...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

In December, the USDA quietly announced its intention to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule (OLPP). OLPP is the product of a 14-year democratic rulemaking effort by the National Organic Standards Board to advise the National Organic Program (NOP). However, since NOP released the final rule in early 2017, USDA continuously impeded its implementation and now is shelving the standards.   Comment now to protect organic standards! Comments are due January 17, 2018.   The rule clarifies animal welfare practices in organic production, including living conditions,...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, grower, regulatory

New federal food safety regulations are starting to take effect. If you grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce for human consumption you may need to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Compliance dates for some produce farms start at the beginning of 2018. Does my farm need to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? The FSMA Produce Safety Rule has different compliance levels based on operation size and type. The CCOF Foundation hosted a How Do I Need to Comply with FSMA? Webinar to help produce growers figure out what compliance level they fall into. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 8, 2018 on advocacy, events, general organic

The Carbon Farming Revolution will command front and center attention at the 38th EcoFarm Conference on January 24 through 27 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California. Owing to unstable climates, carbon has been getting a bum rap of late, quite undeservedly so. Most of us farmers are unaware that carbon—and its management—is the most critical element in our farming systems, probably because we don’t purchase carbon in a sack like we do N-P-K. Were there a “most friendly atom” award, carbon should be its slam dunk winner. Though it could be different on some other planet...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

USDA published notice in the Federal Register this week that it intends to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule, which has been under development by the organic community for over a decade. The notice opens a public comment period that is open through Jan. 17, 2018.  Comments may be submitted through regulations.gov.   Originally set to be fully implemented earlier this year, USDA under the current administration already has delayed implementation three times and now proposes to withdraw the rule on the premise that it exceeds USDA’s statutory authority.   CCOF...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 18, 2017 on advocacy, cost share, financial assistance, general organic, policy

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) issued an action alert calling on organic advocates to urge their elected officials to support the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (Cost Share) and the Agricultural Management Assistance Act (AMA).    CCOF highly encourages the organic community to rally in support of Cost Share and to follow the steps outlined in NOC’s action alert.    Cost Share is one of the few federal assistance programs that offers specific support to organic producers. The program provides organic producers with a reimbursement of up to $750 of their annual...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on events, general organic, grower

Crop producers who attend the 2018 EcoFarm Conference in January are in for an abundance of relevant subject matter to help with crop planning, plant and soil nutrition, and other production and marketing subjects. We’ve highlighted few choices to get you started.   Organic Flower Production will open up a whole new realm for growers looking to diversify from vegetables or who enjoy being surrounded by beautiful blooms. Flowers are not only gorgeous and satisfying to produce, but they preserve biological diversity for pollinators and insects who feed on nectar and pollen. They are a great...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on food safety, general organic, international, organic market, research

Asia is showing some of the highest growth in the global organic food market. New research by Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) shows that some Asian countries’ markets are reporting double-digit growth rates, with regional sales poised to reach $10 billion in the coming years.    As will be shown at the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit, two of the fastest growing markets for organic products are in China and India. Growing awareness of organic production methods and rising disposable incomes are fueling demand for organic and sustainable foods.     Concerns...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 4, 2017 on general organic, grower

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) starts mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to the nation's producers this week. The census response deadline is February 5, 2018.   Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers, and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more.   "The Census of...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. On December 11, the CCOF Foundation will host a webinar that reviews the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added products—such as jams, salsas, and dried fruit—through the USDA National Organic Program.    Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will give an overview of the organic certification process for value-added products. Then, learn about the different avenues farms can take to get into processing, including on-farm processing, shared...
Written by Jane Wade on Monday, November 20, 2017 on certification process, events, general organic

According to the USDA, consumer demand for organically produced goods continues to show double-digit growth. Organic products are now available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and nearly three out of four conventional grocery stores. Almonds, always popular, are benefiting from this growth.   Have you considered transitioning conventional almonds to organic? Are you planting new trees? Find out why organic is more than just a label and how going organic can benefit your business. Join CCOF at the 2017 Almond Board Conference on Thursday, December 7 and learn why and how organic is...

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