Blog posts by policy

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 3, 2021 on advocacy, policy


Jenny Lester Moffitt and Russ Lester

Longtime farmer advocate and state administrator with deep roots in the organic community Jenny Lester Moffitt has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.Moffitt has served the agricultural community in California for the past seven years as undersecretary and deputy secretary in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of her numerous accomplishments as undersecretary was ensuring that CDFA’s annual Agricultural Statistics Review includes data on organic production in the state...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 3, 2021 on advocacy, policy


Groundcover

Last week, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act (ARA), which outlines a national roadmap for reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. agriculture by the year 2040. This act is a farmer-focused, research-driven path that highlights the ways that food production and agriculture are strong solutions to climate change when properly funded and supported. To learn more, read the press release and the bill text. This legislation was co-sponsored by 17 representatives, including Barragán (CA-44), Brownley (CA-26...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 26, 2021 on advocacy, grower, policy, regulatory, water


Central Coast

After three years of public hearings, numerous revisions, and intense deliberations, on April 15, 2021, the Central Coast Water Quality Control Board approved a new agricultural order regulating discharges from irrigated lands.The new regulations in Ag Order 4.0 are likely to go too far for many farmers and not far enough for environmental justice advocates, who point to nitrate contamination in regional drinking water wells as an ongoing problem that is not being addressed, even through tighter regulations on agriculture.One key change is that, in addition to reporting total nitrogen (N)...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, April 19, 2021 on advocacy, policy

On Thursday, April 15, CCOF­–co-sponsored AB-125 passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee with a bipartisan 10–0 vote, moving on to the Natural Resources Committee. The “Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act of 2022,” which would invest $3.302 billion across the food and agriculture system over five years, would constitute the largest state investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. The bill includes funding for organic transition support, technical assistance, and education. It would also boost the...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 29, 2021 on crisis resilience, funding, policy

Earlier this month, the federal government approved $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 economic relief, including $1400 stimulus checks for most Americans, vaccination resources, and aid to state and local governments. Provisions in the package for agriculture, known as the American Rescue Plan, amount to a relatively minor $16 billion spread across several programs.A key portion of the agriculture funding includes billions in debt relief for farmers who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). This provision is a version of the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act, which the new...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, March 15, 2021 on advocacy, policy

A new bill authored by Salinas Valley legislator and the new chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Robert Rivas, represents the most significant investment in organic agriculture in California’s history. AB 125, The Equitable Economic Recovery, Healthy Food Access, Climate Resilient Farms, and Worker Protection Bond Act, would make a $3 billion investment in regional infrastructure, worker protections, food access, and sustainable and organic farming. The bill proposes funding for several programs that would benefit the organic sector, including the following:  UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 1, 2021 on advocacy, livestock, policy


In today’s world, pet goats participate in yoga classes, apartment building walls bear signs advertising “Farm Fresh Eggs,” and the consumer appetite for organic meat and dairy is skyrocketing. Despite this popular sentiment, a lack of investment in regional meat supply chains threatens the future of regional, organic, and regenerative ranching.California’s farmers and their four-legged flocks face severe and longstanding bottlenecks in the final steps along the meat supply chain from ranch to roast: slaughter, cut and wrap, and value-added processing. In the last 50 years, California has...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 1, 2021 on advocacy, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will be holding stakeholder meetings in February to solicit feedback from the public and agricultural stakeholders on farmer- and rancher-led climate solutions that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and enhance biodiversity.“These outreach meetings are essential to ensure we gain information and knowledge from the people who live and work on the land and the organizations that support them,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We want to hear from all those interested in discussing farmer- and rancher-led efforts to help ensure...
Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, January 25, 2021 on advocacy, policy


CCOF Goals

It’s the start of a new year, and CCOF has set a bold, new goal for organic: Thirty percent of California’s farmland will be organic by 2030. We know it will take hard work to get there, but that’s nothing new for organic farmers. Here’s the plan for moving forward in 2021.Expand Opportunities for Small Organic RanchersIn partnership with ranchers, policymakers, and farm and environmental groups, CCOF is working to create economic opportunities for small organic ranches. Expanding on-farm slaughter options for small ranches raising goats, sheep, and swine will strengthen these businesses and...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 on general organic, policy

On January 8, California Governor Gavin Newsom released a $227 billion proposed budget for the 2021–2022 fiscal year. Despite concern over the effect of COVID-19 response on the state's budget deficit, the Governor's proposal includes healthy funding levels for several critical agriculture programs, including the following: $3.75 million ongoing funding to the California Department of Food and Agriculture to support integrated pest management strategies and a new, tiered approach to the pesticide mill fee that taxes pesticides based on toxicity levels$6.7 million for UC Cooperative Extension...
Written by Cassidy Carmichael on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 on general organic, policy

The FDA has proposed a new rule to lay the foundation for full food supply chain tracking. Once the rule is finalized, additional traceability records will be required for specific foods and ingredients, including cheese, eggs, nut butter, cucumbers, fresh herbs, all leafy greens, melons, peppers, sprouts, tomatoes, tropical tree fruits, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and others. Review the proposed rule and  comment by January 21, 2021.
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, policy

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 406, the Health Care Omnibus Bill, into law last week. Authored by California Senator Richard Pan, the bill includes a section that repeals the requirement for organic processors and handlers to print their California organic registration number on all transfer documents including bills of lading and invoices.  Concern about this requirement was raised to the Processor Subcommittee of the state’s organic advisory board, the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC), earlier this year by another accredited certification agency because some of the...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 28, 2020 on crisis resilience, policy, resources

The USDA announced a second round of funding for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). CFAP 2 will provide $14 billion in additional direct payments to farmers and ranchers. This new round of includes substantive changes from the first round, some of which may benefit organic producers:Compensation for losses experienced from April 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020 (or from April 16 for livestock)Additional price loss based payments for commodity crops covered by the first round of CFAPA new fixed $15/acre payment for many grains, oilseed, and hemp crops that were not previously...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, September 21, 2020 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their virtual fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, are approaching! We encourage members of the organic community to 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. Read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews). Handling Substances:KaolinSodium bicarbonateWaxes - nonsynthetic (Wood resin)Ammonium bicarbonate -...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 on general organic, NOP, policy

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) released an official proposed rule for Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). The proposed changes will constitute the most significant changes to organic regulations since the creation of the NOP.  Among other changes, the proposed rule will:Reduce the types of uncertified entities in the organic supply chain (importers, brokers, traders)Require the use of NOP Import Certificates for all organic products entering the United StatesClarify NOP oversight of certification activities, including that NOP oversight extends to the actions of any person...

Pages