Blog posts by general organic

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on CCOF, general organic, regulatory

To ensure that all CCOF-certified members are represented at the board of directors level, members must approve changes to the CCOF bylaws that will allow the board to establish new chapters. This fall, all certified members will have the opportunity to vote to amend CCOF’s membership bylaws accordingly. In September, members will receive ballots and materials and will have 30 days to respond. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws.   About the Amendments   The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters that include currently unrepresented...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic

Organic champion and CCOF Board of Directors chair Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards has been awarded the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Farmer of the Year Leadership Award!   LaRocca is a pioneering organic wine grape grower and winemaker who uses innovative, environmentally friendly farming practices to produce wines with no added sulfites. He became the first certified organic apple grower in 1975 and then transitioned to wine and grape growing.      LaRocca has been active with CCOF since its inception and has spent the last 40 years advocating for organic farming. He is a...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, funding, general organic, policy, regulatory

Support continued funding of the National Organic Program (NOP) by using the Organic Trade Association’s portal to contact your representatives and convey the importance of continuing strong NOP oversight over organic certification.   CCOF highly encourages members and the organic community to contact their representatives and advocate on behalf of organic and importance of funding NOP.    The House Appropriations Committee could affect NOP funding in several ways. One interference tactic is to add rider bills to budget bills that would block funding. The Organic Livestock and Poultry...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on financial assistance, general organic

On Saturday, July 8, the Wall Fire burned the home, packing shed, coolers, and farm equipment of The Peach Jamboree (previously known as Woodleaf Farm, one of CCOF’s long-certified farms). Bought by young farmers Danny Lazzarini and Drew Seidman in 2016, Woodleaf Farm’s transition to the next generation has been hailed as a model for other retiring organic farmers. Read more about the farm’s succession story on Page 31 of CCOF’s Spring magazine.   To support these young organic farmers getting back on their feet, please consider donating to their GoFundMe campaign that was organized by their...
Written by Antonina Hines on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic, help and tips, regulatory

Many fertilizers and some herbicides and pesticides are labeled as “organic,” even though they aren’t allowed for use in organic production. These products are using the word “organic” as a chemist would, meaning they contain carbon compounds. The USDA only restricts the use of the word “organic” on food products, which allows companies to put whatever they choose on an input label as long as it is factual. This does not mean that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has approved these inputs for use in organic production.   Farmers and home gardeners may understandably be confused by this...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, July 10, 2017 on cost share, general organic

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is still open for 2017 applications, but only a few months remain to apply for funds. Through this program, eligible operations will be reimbursed up to 75% of their organic certification costs, not to exceed $750, for each NOP scope of organic certification. Eligible operations can also receive a refund of California State Organic Program registration fees. Any operation that is located within the United States and received organic certification between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 may apply for reimbursement. The Cost Share...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

California Governor Jerry Brown authorized $10 million in funding in the 2017 budget to prevent the spread of the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB), a citrus-killing disease carried by the insect. ACP feeds on citrus plant leaves and stems, causing deformation and plant stunting. It is a known carrier of HLB. The insect and disease have causes over $7 billion in economic impact in Florida, and its arrival in California poses a major threat. While it has yet to spread to commercial citrus trees, approximately 375 trees have been removed in Kern County, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released their 2017 Sunset final rule. The rule removes three synthetic substances and five non-organic agricultural substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and renews three other substances.    The final rule is consistent with the 2015 recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB makes recommendations to remove substances from the National List using the criteria...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

Both the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the United States House Committee on Agriculture have busy weeks with key farm bill hearings scheduled. On July 13, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. PST, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will have a full committee hearing titled Opportunities in Global and Local Markets, Specialty Crops, and Organics: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.   The hearing will be the first time organic agriculture will be highlighted in a 2018 Farm Bill hearing. The committee will announce witnesses shortly. A live-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on education, general organic, policy

Applications for California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA), are now being accepted until August 11, 2017. GEELA honors individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated voluntary contributions in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy.   Projects/programs must fall into one of five categories and subcategories: Climate change Ecosystem and land use stewardship Environmental education Sustainable...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 26, 2017 on general organic

Sand County Foundation, the California Farm Bureau Federation and Sustainable Conservation are accepting applications for the $10,000 California Leopold Conservation Award. The award honors California farmers, ranchers and other private landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and management of natural resources. “The Leopold Conservation Award celebrates the people and places where innovative and creative thinking and experimentation are taking place,” said Judith Redmond of Full Belly Farm, recipient of the 2014 Leopold Conservation Award. “If you or a friend include conservation...
Written by Antonina Hines on Monday, June 5, 2017 on certification process, general organic, policy, regulatory

Are you in the process of changing your labels because of the new FDA requirements? Whether you’re certified organic or not, now is a good time to consider adding CCOF’s “Organic is Non-GMO & More” seal to your packaging. If you’re not currently certified organic and are reprinting your labels, now is the perfect time to consider organic certification. If you choose certification with CCOF, you can use the “Organic is Non-GMO & More” seal at no extra cost to communicate to consumers and buyers that your organic products are free from GMOs. Want to learn more about why CCOF is the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 5, 2017 on advocacy, education, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) held its annual Organic Week in Washington D.C. last month. Each year, the week includes events including the Organic Center’s Organic Confluences summit and OTA’s Policy Conference and Advocacy Day. CCOF member Dieter Schellenberg of Schellenberg Farms and other CCOF-certified producers attended Organic Week this year to share their organic farmer-perspective with their elected representatives.   At the conference, OTA released the results of their latest Organic Industry Survey. In 2016, the organic sector continued its upward climb. Organic sales in the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 22, 2017 on education, events, general organic, grower, handler


The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) on December 13-14, 2017 at the Monterey Hyatt in Monterey, California is bringing together organic growers, farmers, and producers for two days of education, information, and networking with their production, supply chain, and support service providers.    OGS Exhibitors will represent the following industries:  Organic production Service and supply chain management Seed Packaging Soil amendments Food safety Equipment/machinery Crop protection Ag technology   The OGS audience and attendees will include:  Organic growers and farmers Field production...
Written by Laura Mathias on Monday, May 8, 2017 on cost share, fees, financial assistance, general organic

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for 2017 applications!   This means that all certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. Beginning in 2017, operations located in California can also receive a refund of their State Organic Program registration fees.    Certification cost share helps keep organic certification accessible for all, from the smallest to largest organic operations. Cost share...

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