Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 21, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

USDA announced the termination of the rulemaking process for the national certified organic marketing order. The marketing order was commonly known as the organic check-off. USDA reported that the rulemaking process was terminated because of “uncertain industry support and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program.”   The program was proposed by the Organic Trade Association in 2015 to strengthen the position of certified organic products in the marketplace, support research to benefit the organic industry, and improve access to information and data across the organic sector...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy


CCOF Certification Services LLC President Jake Lewin presented on an expert panel discussing organic imports at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The panelists discussed oversight of organic imports and tracking organic products throughout the supply chain.    “We have feasible, clear steps that we can take to shore up certifier oversight of imports and allegations of fraud,” said Lewin in his opening remarks.    Lewin outlined three first-step solutions to immediately increase oversight of imported organic crops and products. Those solutions include...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

  The National Organic Program (NOP) extended the commenting deadline for their proposed rule of 35 amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOP will now be accepting comments until May 14, 2018.    The proposed rule amends the National List by changing the restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production or handling; adding 16 new substances; prohibiting rotenone for organic crop production; and removing ivermectin as an allowed parasiticides for organic livestock production.    Proposed Updates to Existing Substances on National List...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for all 25 positions of the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). FVIAC examines issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry to provide ideas on ways to improve programs to better meet the changing needs of the produce industry.   The deadline for nominations is May 24, 2018. Nominees should submit a cover letter detailing qualifications, a resume (fewer than five pages), the required Form AD-755, and optional letters of endorsement. Nominations should be submitted to marlene.betts@ams.usda.gov or valerie.minick@ams.usda.gov;...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) will host a free webinar on advances in information technology to strengthen the integrity of the organic seal for producers, businesses, and consumers.   The hour-long webinar will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Pre-registration is not required.    Participants can connect to the webinar online and over the phone: On the Web  Meeting URL:  http://www.readytalk.com Access Code: 7202000  By Phone  Toll-Free (U.S. & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code: 7202000 Calling in from another country? Find a call-in number at...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 23, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-3) joins fellows California Congressional delegates in supporting organic integrity with his cosponsorship of the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017, H.R.3871.   H.R.3871 would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.   Twelve CCOF members recently signed a letter to Congressman Garamendi successfully urging him to support the bill. Congressman Garamendi responded to his...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 23, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Jeff Huckaby, president and CEO of Grimmway and Cal-Organic, to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.    The 15-member board advises the California governor and secretary of agriculture on key issues of importance to California’s farmers, ranchers, stakeholders, and citizens. The members represent a broad range of agricultural commodities, a variety of geographic regions, and both California university systems.    Cal-Organic became a CCOF member in 1995 and today manages over 45,000 certified organic acres. Huckaby originally joined...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 16, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Last week the House Agriculture Committee released their first draft of the 2018 Farm Bill. Agriculture policy wonks across the country are reviewing the text and preparing for next steps.    CCOF is pleased to see most of its top priorities included in the House draft:   — Increased funding authorized for the National Organic Program (NOP), accompanied by language that directs USDA to modernize NOP’s international trade tracking and data collection systems   — Continued funding at $5 million for the Organic Production and Marketing Initiative   — Increased funding from $20 million to $30...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The Community Water Center (CWC)/El Centro Comunitario por el Agua just released a new report: "Untapped Opportunity: Local Water Boards and the Fight for Water Justice."   The report found that in the southern San Joaquin Valley, fully 87 percent of local water board seats were uncontested in the most recent election—that’s almost 500 local seats. When only one candidate runs for a seat, the seat does not appear on a ballot, and the election does not take place. In Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties, 75 of 109 local water boards studied have not held a single election in the last four...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing establishing a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California.    The establishment will be subject to producer approval by referendum. Two-thirds of the eligible producers or producers representing two-thirds of the milk produced in California will need to vote in favor of the FMMO for the FMMO to be established.  AMS hosted a public meeting on April 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Clovis, California to explain and answer questions relating to the California...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy

A group of certified organic farmers and CCOF staff met with United States Representative David Valadao when he was in Hanford during the Congressional spring recess.    President of CCOF’s Fresno-Tulare chapter Dwayne Cardoza joined with fellow organic growers Ted Loewen, Jim Parsons, and Steve Beck to talk with Valadao about how the Organic Certification Cost Share Program is important, particularly for newly transitioned organic farmers and small- to mid-scale farmers in California who must pay state registration fees as well as organic certification fees. The need for organic data...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, policy

Last week, Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) took action to support his organic constituents when he signed on as a cosponsor of H.R.3871, the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act.    20 CCOF-certified members signed a letter urging Congressman LaMalfa to support H.R.3871 because it would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.    CCOF applauds Congressman LaMalfa’s support for organic priorities and his continued...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 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 Tucson 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.    Crop Scope Substances Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol Sodium carbonate peroxyhdrate  Newspaper or other recycled paper  Plastic mulch and covers  Aqueous potassium silicate  Elemental sulfur Lime sulfur...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 26, 2018 on events, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will host seven public workshops throughout California starting on March 27. CDFA will provide guidance on how to complete the annual cannabis cultivation license application, including information on business-entity structure documentation, bond forms, criminal history, fees, local-authorization documents, and diagram requirements.    The workshops will be in an open-house format to allow participants the opportunity to ask questions about their individual applications. CalCannabis will be...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

USDA ignored the pleas of organic producers across the country when it announced its final decision to ignore the organic rulemaking process and withdraw the widely supported Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    CCOF members have long advocated for the OLPP rule because it would have brought greater clarity and consistency to organic livestock production and certification.     CCOF members are already in compliance with the majority of the provisions that would have been clarified under OLPP, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities...

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