Blog posts by policy

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 24, 2015 on food safety, policy, research

A new study out of the University of California, Berkeley shows that removing vegetation adjacent to farms on California’s Central Coast has not reduced the incidence of E. coli found in fresh produce. Instead, the reverse is true: farms that retained nongrazed riparian or other natural vegetation types had significantly lower prevalence of generic E. coli in water and pathogenic E. coli in produce.These results contradict the conventional wisdom that developed in 2006 when spinach contaminated with pathogenic E. coli entered the stream of commerce and caused three deaths and 205 illnesses....
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Monday, August 24, 2015 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) approved removal of four materials from the National List, and the proposed rule that finalizes removal is now open for comment through August 31, 2015. Read the rule and submit a comment.Marsala wine and sherry wine were eligible for sunset removal and the NOSB voted these ingredients off the list at its fall 2014 meeting.Approval of the antibiotics streptomycin and tetracycline to control fire blight in organic apples and pears expired in October 2014, and the NOSB did not renew it. Growers who face increased disease pressure or economic losses...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 10, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF is continuing to search for feedback from farmers who have experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).If you have experience with CSP or are interested in the program, please take a few minutes to complete the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSP_Survey_Feedback.This is a busy time of year, and we greatly appreciate any feedback. The results of this survey will help make CSP more accessible to farmers.What is the Conservation Stewardship Program? CSP is a national conservation program administered by the USDA’s...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 10, 2015 on policy, research

If you haven’t had the opportunity to weigh in on Organic Research Priorities using the Organic Farming Research Foundation's (OFRF) national survey, we highly recommend doing so. The confidential survey asks for data on farm size, production, and location; detailed information about organic farming challenges; and farmers’ most pressing information needs on topics such as pest control, soil health, water conservation strategies, pesticide drift, and GMO contamination of organic crops.In addition to the OFRF national survey, CCOF is conducting in-person focus groups with CCOF chapters across...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, July 17, 2015 on policy, research

Please take a few moments to respond to the Organic Farming Research Foundation’s (OFRF) National Survey of Organic Farmers. Widespread participation by organic farmers across the country will ensure that all types and scales of certified organic production are reflected in the survey’s results. Responses will be accepted through August 30.A link to the survey was distributed via email to every certified organic farmer in the United States with an email address, so follow the link you received or access the survey at http://opinion.wsu.edu/agresearch/.The 34-question survey focuses on...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, July 17, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF is seeking the feedback of farmers who have experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Whether you are currently enrolled in CSP, have enrolled in the past, attempted to apply, or are just thinking about signing up, we want your input! We are looking for information such as personal experience with the program, barriers you have encountered, criticisms or praises, and any other relevant information. Contact Eric Cissna at ecissna@ccof.org to share your experiences.What is the Conservation Stewardship Program? CSP is a national...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Friday, June 5, 2015 on marketing, policy, research

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline for the public to submit alternative or partial proposals on a new industry-funded organic promotion order until July 20, 2015.The USDA will consider the submitted proposals prior to publishing a proposed Organic, Promotion, Research, and Information Order that would create an industry-funded promotion and research program for organic products under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.Where to Submit ProposalsInterested parties should submit their proposals to Organic Promotion, Research, and...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Friday, June 5, 2015 on livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

Submit your comments today on the National Organic Program’s (NOP) proposed rule on Origin of Livestock.About the Origin of Livestock Proposed RuleAfter years of anticipation, the NOP recently published a proposed rule that updates and clarifies organic requirements related to the transition of nonorganic dairy animals to organic production. The proposed rule states that milk or milk products labeled or sold as organic must come from dairy animals that have been managed organically since the last third of gestation, but that the NOP will make a one-time allowance for a producer to transition...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 20, 2015 on CalCAN, policy

CalCAN is excited to announce our leadership in a newly introduced state bill called the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act, or Senate Bill 367. The bill was introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Yolo County), and is co-sponsored by CalCAN and our coalition partner, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). SB 367 promotes ‘climate-friendly’ agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon. It creates a new statewide competitive grant program, to be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, that would receive $50 million in cap-and-...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 20, 2015 on NOP, NOSB, policy

The spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 27-30 in La Jolla, California. All CCOF members are encouraged to attend! This biannual meeting impacts what materials are allowed for 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). NOSB will review a diverse set of materials at the meeting such as from sulfur and copper materials used in crop production, aspirin and iodine used in livestock production, and flavor and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 13, 2015 on CalCAN, events, policy

The 4th Climate & Agriculture Summit at UC Davis was, by all accounts, CalCAN’s most successful Summit yet. The daylong gathering on March 25 brought together 320 participants, including 65 farmers and ranchers from across California. Our 60+ speakers, panelists, moderators and poster presenters were uniformly excellent, demonstrating the amazing diversity and expertise of CalCAN’s partners and friends. Overall, the 4th CalCAN Summit was a testament to how far we have collectively come in our work to unleash agricultural solutions to climate change—and an important reminder of the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on policy

UC Berkeley researchers need farmers for a study on diversified farming systems in California’s Central Coast. The project will look at how agricultural practices on organic farms affect the diversity of life found on those farms, with an emphasis on birds and pollinators. The study needs farmer participants who grow organic strawberries on two acres or more of land in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Prunedale and Salinas. Benefits of cooperating on the project include:  Access to research results about your own farm and all participating farms collectively (with complete anonymity) that can inform...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 30, 2015 on NOSB, policy

The April 7, 2015 deadline to submit comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is fast approaching! At the end of April, the NOSB will meet in La Jolla, California to review organic materials and standards. During this meeting they will review a substantial amount of materials, including copper and sulfur products for use in crop production, and gums and pectin for processing. Your operation may be affected! There are two simple things you can do to help protect the integrity of organic standards: 1) Complete OTA’s Online Surveys CCOF is working closely with the Organic Trade...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on genetic engineering, policy

The deadline for comment has been extended to May 11, 2015. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on a set of proposed activities to reduce the impacts of the unintended presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in organic and other non-GM crops. One of the activities is the federal organic farmer survey currently circulating, which is gathering information on economic losses experienced by organic farmers due to the presence of GM material in their crops. The timeline for comment is quite short; they are due April 10, 2015. To submit a comment, visit regulations.gov...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on certification process, cost share, policy

Certification cost share is a program that reimburses organic operations 75% of eligible certification-related costs up to a maximum of $750 per certified scope. Certification cost share is now open in the state of California and will be in other states soon. CCOF is preparing helpful instruction documents and tools to help you navigate the cost share forms. Look for them by May 1! Certification cost share helps keep organic certification accessible for all, from the smallest to largest organic operations. Cost share distributes federal funds through state departments of agriculture. Click...

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