Blog posts by policy

Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Now is the time to support the implementation of the long-overdue Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The rule would ensure clear and enforceable requirements for the sourcing of organic dairy herds by requiring new dairy animals to be managed organically from at least the last third of gestation. The organic community has advocated for this rule for many years. Inconsistent interpretation of the current rule has put some farmers at a disadvantage in an already struggling industry. On October 1, 2019, the USDA reopened the rule’s public comment period. Organic farmers, industry stakeholders,...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program released a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The proposed rule is based off public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board from 2018. Stakeholders may submit comment on the proposed amendment by December 17, 2019. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov using Docket Number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1913. The proposed rule would:Allow the use of blood meal made with sodium citrate to be used as a soil amendmentProhibit the use of natamycin in organic crop productionAllow tamarind seed gum to be...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on general organic, policy

USDA released an interim final rule to establish a domestic hemp production program. The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to establish a regulatory framework for hemp production. The framework will work in tandem with state production plans which must be submitted to USDA for review and approval. Hemp producers must comply with both USDA’s and their state’s regulations on the production of hemp.  The interim rule is effective October 31, 2019 through November 1, 2021. The interim final rule is open for public comment until December 30, 2019 using Regulations.gov docket number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1919...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, November 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, policy

Walk the halls of the Golden State Capitol with CCOF as we sow the seeds for a nationwide movement. At our Rooting for Organic advocacy day on February 19, 2020 in Sacramento, California, stakeholders from across the organic sector will advocate for policies that support the growth of organic agriculture and increase access to organic foods. Together, we will showcase a model for advancing organic with policies that combat climate change; stimulate local economies; and enhance the health of farmers, farmworkers, and diverse consumers around the world.  Your voice and expertise can drive...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 4, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, standards

The Organic Trade Association asked the United States District Court to rule in its favor on its organic livestock welfare lawsuit against the USDA. In its motion for summary judgment, the trade association stated that USDA acted in an unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious way when it killed new organic livestock standards centered around improving animal care and welfare. The Organic Trade Association argued USDA’s blocking of the implementation and rescission of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule in 2018 were actions plainly in excess of lawful authority and, if not...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

On October 1, 2019 USDA reopened the Origin of Livestock proposed rule for additional comments. The proposed rule was closed by USDA in 2015 without notice but was reopened for a new 60-day comment period. Comments can be submitted until December 2 to Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-11-0009-1572.  CCOF highly encourages members to submit comments on the proposed rule. It is important that both dairies that came under certification before and after the initial 2015 proposed rule submit comments. USDA notes that commenters who submitted comments in 2015 need not to resubmit comment...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

Last week CCOF submitted eight written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their fall 2019 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The meeting will occur Wednesday, October 23, through Friday, October 25.  NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice a year to provide recommendations on substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and the organic standards. At their spring meeting earlier this year, NOSB began their 2021 Sunset Review process and will complete the reviews of the substances in...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

Earlier this year, CCOF Foundation launched the Roadmap to an Organic California project to highlight how organic farming addresses many of California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.    The Benefits Report presented over 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing how organic agriculture positively impacts the economy, society, and the environment. These studies demonstrate that organic farms are combatting climate change by building healthy soils that store...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, policy


Karen Klonsky Ecuador B

Dr. Karen Klonsky spent a lifetime championing organic. The CCOF Foundation will honor her work and spirit at the CCOF Foundation Feast on December 4 at the Organic Grower Summit.  Klonsky was a University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist in Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). For 35 years, Klonsky collaborated with both Californian and international agricultural stakeholders. She is said to have had a willingness to work collaboratively with colleagues, bringing a dynamic range of perspectives and unique experiences to offer in...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

The CCOF policy team is in the midst of researching and writing recommendations for the second phase of the Roadmap to an Organic California project. The project presents the research-supported benefits of organic agriculture  and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.  Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in early 2019 and represents a comprehensive scientific review of the economic, social, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

Last week the United States Senate Agriculture Committee passed the Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020. In the bill, USDA is required to issue the Origin of Livestock rule that incorporates public comments from the proposal rule within 180 days of the bill becoming law. The language matches a House of Representatives bill that passed in June, showing bipartisan congressional support for the rule.  The Origin of Livestock rule was based on six recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board and clarified and amended the requirements for how dairy producers can...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 16, 2019 on policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) lawsuit against the USDA over the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule will move to final arguments. After multiple failed attempts by USDA to dismiss the case, a U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia has confirmed a timeline for final arguments. OTA’s motion for summary judgment will be due on October 18, USDA’s reply is due November 22, OTA will further reply by December 20, and the USDA’s final reply is due on January 17, 2020.  Background on the Lawsuit The 2017 lawsuit alleges that the USDA violated the Organic Foods Production Act...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 9, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Pittsburgh on October 23-25, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Pittsburgh.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 15, 2019 and October 17, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 3, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in Pittsburgh. Commenters...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


JSM Farm Tour

Last week, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics hosted Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)’s Legislative Assistant Riya Mehta, Melody Meyer of Source Organic, Cassandra Christine of the Organic Trade Association, and CCOF policy staff for a tour of his farm in Royal Oaks, California. Zamora shared his story of success in an increasingly challenging market for small-scale organic growers and highlighted the challenges he and other growers face.  Mehta communicated Congressman Panetta’s continued support for organic and expressed a desire to seek policy support for both current and transitioning...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 23-25, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0038 until October 3, 2019. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB discussed the substances at their...

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