Blog posts by policy

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 5, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met in mid-November to hear public comment, vote on the 2018 Sunset Materials, and discuss and vote on various proposals. NOSB also held officer elections, and the board elected CCOF member Jesse Buie to serve as their new secretary. NOSB thanked outgoing members for their service, including CCOF member, inspector, and policy specialist Zea Sonnabend. Carmela Beck, representing Driscoll’s, also completed her term on the board. Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on seven proposals during the fall 2016 meeting. While most proposals...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 5, 2016 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, water

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued tentative Order # R5-2016-XXXX Waste Discharge Requirements General Order for Poultry Operations, which may impact organic poultry operations. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will be holding a hearing on December 5th and 6th in Rancho Cordova, for those that wish to comment on the proposed Order. The tentative order impacts poultry operations within the Region 5 Water Quality Control Board, which includes Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Glen, Colusa, Lake, Sutter, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 21, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting opened with the announcement of five new appointees to the federal advisory committee. The NOSB was established by the Organic Foods Production Act to advise the National Organic Program on materials allowed in organic production and other organic issues. It is composed of 15 volunteers from around the country and includes four organic farmers; two handlers; three experts in environmental protection and resource conservation; three representatives of public interest or consumer groups; an expert in toxicology, ecology, or...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 21, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

The deadline to comment on the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposed rules on pesticide applications near schools has been extended to December 9, 2016. The rules may affect your operation. They propose to restrict pesticide applications via aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or in the form of a dust, powder, or fumigant to ¼ mile from a school site between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. During those same hours, ground-rig spray, field soil injection, and drip or flood chemigation applications must be applied at least 25 feet...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 14, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held November 16-18 in St. Louis, Missouri. 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). The agenda for the fall NOSB meeting includes the review of a diverse set of materials, including carrageenan used in organic processing and copper sulfate used in organic rice production. NOSB will also discuss numerous other...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting written comments and holding three public hearings on proposed rules that will more strictly regulate pesticide applications near schools. The new rules restrict pesticide applications to ¼ mile or 25 feet from school sites between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, the distance depending on the application method and the type of pesticide. Property owners must provide both annual and application-specific notification to schools in advance of all pesticide applications. Read the text of the rules. Learn...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Play a role in developing sustainable groundwater use rules by participating in your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The group Salinas Valley Groundwater is holding a stakeholder forum on Monday, November 14, to develop recommendations on the structure of this new agency, which will develop and implement plans to sustainably manage groundwater. California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 that requires the state, for the first time, to regulate groundwater use. The Groundwater Sustainability Agencies will develop groundwater management plans for their...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted 11 comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in advance of the board’s November meeting. The comments address a range of NOSB agenda items, from materials slated for sunset in 2018 to hydroponic organic production. Click on the links below for CCOF’s comments. All of the comments submitted to the NOSB can be read online. The NOSB is a federal advisory board to the National Organic Program. It convenes formal meetings twice annually to discuss materials scheduled for sunset off the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and other organic issues. The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The national Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of national legislation for the agricultural sector. The Farm Bill provides funding for an array of programs that serve farmers and ranchers. It comes up for renewal by the United States Congress every five years. To prepare for the next Farm Bill, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in a Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill. The brief survey addresses production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, October 21, 2016 on advocacy, funding, policy

Two grantmaking programs that fund organic work are now open for proposals. The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is accepting research proposals. OFRF is currently accepting research proposals from applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding. The deadline for proposals is December 10, 2016. OFRF will notify applicants about funding decisions in early spring 2017. OFRF offers funding for research on...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 17, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting agenda and supporting materials are available for review and public comment.  The NOSB will meet in St. Louis, Missouri, November 16-18, 2016. Written comments and signups for oral comment are due October 26.  The NOSB will discuss and vote on many important topics, including:  Crop materials scheduled for sunset in 2018, including copper sulfate, calcium chloride, and peracetic acid Bioponics (hydroponics and aquaponics) and container-based production  Strengthening guidance on organic seed and planting stock  Handling materials...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, October 3, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will discuss and vote on recommendations concerning organic production at its upcoming meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, November 16-18, 2016. We encourage you to review the meeting agenda and supporting materials and submit a comment on issues impacting your operation. Meeting Topics and Materials The NOSB will discuss and vote on many important topics, including: Hydroponic/aquaponic/bioponic/aeroponic and container-based production Crop materials scheduled for sunset in 2018 including: Copper sulfate Calcium chloride Peracetic acid...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

On Wednesday, September 21, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1826–the California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA)–into law! COFFA was sponsored by CCOF and authored by Assemblymember Mark Stone to streamline State Organic Program registration for thousands of organic farmers throughout California. The unwavering support of CCOF members helped COFFA sail through the California State Assembly and Senate with unanimous support in favor. Passage of COFFA will: Eliminate duplicative paperwork for certified organic farmers by allowing accredited certifying agents like CCOF to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, policy, seeds

The seed industry is one of the most consolidated in agriculture, and it's getting worse. Bayer recently announced that it reached a merger agreement with Monsanto, which will create the world's largest supplier in seeds and agricultural chemicals. DuPont and Dow, and ChemChina and Syngenta, have also announced agreements to merge. If the Department of Justice (DOJ) allows these three mega-mergers to move forward, three corporations will sell nearly 60% of the world's seed. This level of concentration will have grave impacts on U.S. agriculture, including organic. We know that consolidation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in OTA’s Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Major topics that are addressed in the survey include production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension barriers; and past Farm Bill evaluation. Each survey is confidential and contains questions specifically focused on producers and handlers. OTA will use this information to help shape its policy priorities for the next Farm Bill. For more information, contact OTA’s Joe Brady...

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