Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

CCOF joined with 27 diverse organizations to request that the Senate and House agriculture committee leadership include provisions supporting urban agriculture in the 2018 Farm Bill. CCOF supports expanding resources for farmers, and urban agriculture is a growing sector that increases opportunities for local organic foods in metropolitan areas. The letter notes that expanding support for urban agriculture will create economic opportunities and inspire a new generation of young and beginning farmers.  The letter requests that the farm bill require USDA create the Office of Urban Agriculture...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, policy

A jam-packed agenda awaits members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC), which will convene Wed., Sept. 5, at 10 am in the Wonderful Conference Room at the Jordan Agricultural Research Center, California State University Fresno. The public is welcome to attend the meeting and share their thoughts during the public comment session.  COPAC advises the California secretary of food and agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers in the state. The committee is comprised of 15 primary members plus alternates for each seat.  For the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 27, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

A small bill with big impact, AB 2377, has been approved by both houses of the California state legislature this session and will now head back to the Assembly for concurrence before the legislature sends it to the governor’s desk for his signature. Last week CCOF’s policy team sent out an action alert encouraging members in California to call their state senator and request that they vote yes on the bill. Thank you to those who took action. The Technical Assistance for Climate Smart Agriculture bill, AB 2377, will establish a cadre of experts to work with farmers who want to apply for...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 13, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) released a new report and two policy memos as part of the program’s Organic Enforcement Action Plan.  The report, Organic Import Oversight: Collaboration Opportunities and Technology Needs Assessment, responds to recommendations from the USDA Office of Inspector General on oversight of imported organic products. The report details NOP’s recent activities and the steps it is taking to collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  NOP’s new Policy Memos also...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 13, 2018 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its second annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24-26, 2018. The board will vote to retain or remove 40 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) and will also vote on proposals and discussion documents.  The deadline to submit written comments is October 4, 2018. Commenting will open when the meeting materials are released (approximately six weeks before the meeting). The deadline to submit oral comments via webinar or in person in Minnesota is also October 4, 2018. Registration...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will honor three outstanding CCOF leaders at its upcoming annual Organic Leadership Awards Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland on September 12, 2018 during Natural Products Expo East. Javier Zamora of CCOF-certified JSM Organics will receive the Rising Star Award. Stephanie and Blake Alexandre of Alexandre EcoDairy Farm will receive the 2018 Organic Farmers of the Year award.  “These three deserving CCOF members are being recognized for their strong leadership within the organic sector. Javier and the Alexandres are exemplary organic farmers who share a deep...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy


State Board President Don Cameron, left, next to Governor Brown and CDFA Secreatary Karen Ross. Other meeting attendees included Rob Yraceburu, Wonderful Orchards LLC; Carolyn Wasem, Jackson Familiy Wines; David Ahlem, Hilmar Cheese Company; Dan Sumner, UC Ag Issues Center; Mike Gallo, Joseph Gallo Farms; Aaron Lange, Lange Twins; Jonathan Hoff, Monte Vista Farming; Frank Muller, Muller Ranch; Rayne Thompson, Sunkist Growers and Fruit Growers Supply Company and Paul Wenger, Wenger Ranch. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and State Board of Food and Agriculture President Don Cameron joined a group of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 23, 2018 on policy, regulatory

The three California state cannabis licensing authorities released their proposed permanent regulations. Each licensing authority will accept public comments on their proposed regulations until 5:00 p.m. on August 27, 2018. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA): CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing divisions’ proposed regulations cover cannabis cultivators. Written comments may be submitted to CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing via mail or email. Emailed comments should be submitted with the subject line “Comments on Cannabis Cultivation Regulations” to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa....
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 on general organic, policy, standards

CCOF submitted a comment to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on the proposed Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard, or GMO food labeling rule. The deadline for comments was July 3, 2018.   CCOF’s comment was rooted in the following principles, for which CCOF advocated in previous comments: Labels must have clear statements that include the term “GMO.” Electronic or digital links are not sufficient to communicate to consumers.  Protect the USDA National Organic Program’s regulations defining bioengineering and related terms.  Organic certification is sufficient to make a “not...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 25, 2018 on advocacy, policy

CCOF is accepting applications for appointment to the Organic Trade Association (OTA) Farmers Advisory Council (FAC). Applications are due July 13, and CCOF staff can help you complete the simple application.   FAC provides the OTA Board of Directors and staff with critical input from small- and medium-sized organic farmers, ranchers, and growers on matters pertinent to the advancement of organic agriculture, with a specific focus on OTA’s policy agenda.   The CCOF Board of Directors may appoint up to five farmers to FAC under the terms of CCOF and OTA’s strategic partnership. FAC members...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on advocacy, policy


Hemp

In late May, the California Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1409 (R-Wilk-21) and is now being considered in the Assembly. SB 1409 would remove barriers to hemp cultivation in California by authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to establish an industrial hemp pilot program, update and match the definition of hemp and increase access to hemp seed.    CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because the bill would ensure that hemp grown for food and fiber in California is eligible for organic certification. If implemented, the authorized hemp...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on marketing, policy, regulatory


Milk

California dairy producers have voted to approve a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the state of California. The California FMMO was proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and received producer approval by at least a two-thirds vote.   The California FMMO will adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used in other FMMO systems. Producer quotas will be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). A FMMO requires handlers of milk within a state to pay minimum class prices according to how...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 4, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy


CCOF Member Darrell Wood of Leavitt Lake Ranches and Panorama Meats with California Senator Dianne Feinstein   The Organic Trade Association (OTA) held its annual Organic Week in Washington D.C. in late May. Hundreds of organic advocates flocked to DC to participate in the events, which included two conferences and meetings with congressional offices on Capitol Hill.   Organic Week began with The Organic Center’s Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brought together farmers, scientists, and organic stakeholders to discuss organic extension and knowledge transfer. CCOF member Javier Zamora...
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, import and export, 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...

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