Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 22, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will be hosting a full committee hearing titled “Examining the Farm Economy: Perspectives on Rural America” on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. EST.   The hearing comes hot on the heels of USDA Secretary Perdue’s announcement of the proposed reorganization of the USDA Rural Development agencies by eliminating rural development as a core mission area. USDA’s Rural Development agencies include business cooperative services; utilities services such as water, waste, electric, and telecommunications; housing services;...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 15, 2017 on policy, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) met in Sacramento on May 3 to discuss a range of organic issues.   California’s Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross made a flurry of appointments to the committee over the past few months, including appointing President of CCOF Certification Services, LLC Jake Lewin, to the new certifier seat on COPAC. All but one of the primary seats are now filled. A technical representative seat is still open.   COPAC advises the secretary on organic issues. Since passage of the California Organic Food and Farming Act last year, COPAC’s...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 8, 2017 on livestock, policy, regulatory, standards

If you support the organic rulemaking process and strong organic livestock and poultry standards, please take a moment to email the United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and tell him that the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule must be implemented without delay.  After postponing the rule for five months, this week USDA stalled again, issuing an additional six-month delay for implementation. USDA also opened another comment period on the rule with comments due June 9, asking people to weigh in on these four alternatives: Let the rule become effective. This means that...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, May 8, 2017 on general organic, genetic engineering, policy, research

In response to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) recent GMO testing pilot project results, CCOF has expanded its GMO testing and will assist CDFA in identifying any potential source of inadvertent GMO presence along the organic supply chain. Following a request made by CCOF members at our Annual Meeting in 2015, and upon the recommendation of the California State Advisory Committee (COPAC), CDFA launched the GMO testing pilot project last year. The goal of the project is to evaluate the risk of GMO presence in organic products. On May 3, 2017, CDFA reported on the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 1, 2017 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross recently appointed several CCOF members and President of CCOF Certification Services, LLC Jake Lewin to the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC). COPAC is a 15-member committee, which advises the secretary on administration of the California State Organic Program (SOP) as well as education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers. Lewin is the first appointee to COPAC’s new certifier seat. He will bring over 20 years of organic certification experience and leadership to the committee. Lewin’s expertise...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 1, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

President Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Agriculture, George Erwin “Sonny” Perdue III has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and sworn into office. As head of USDA, Secretary Perdue oversees the National Organic Program. During the Senate confirmation process, Secretary Perdue indicated support for USDA promotion of organic and an understanding of consumer demand for organic products. CCOF congratulated Secretary Perdue and will continue to advocate for organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 24, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hold its second 2018 Farm Bill hearing in Frankenmuth, Michigan on May 6, 2017. The farm bill is a hefty piece of legislation passed by Congress every five years that sets the nation’s food and agriculture policies. Consisting of 12 major sections or titles, the farm bill sets the rules for commodity, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry, energy, horticulture, and crop insurance programs. The current farm bill was approved in 2014, and Congress is now preparing to pass a...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 17, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

Congressman Doug LaMalfa of California’s 1st district will host a town hall meeting in Redding, California on April 19, 2017. California’s 1st district is comprised of Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, and Tehama counties, and portions of CCOF’s North Valley and Sierra Gold chapters. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman LaMalfa plays a key role in the creation and implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill. He also is a member of the House Organic Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members who are interested in organic agriculture...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 17, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

April 19, 2017 is the last day to submit comments on the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order, commonly known as the Organic Check-Off. After extending the deadline by 60 days, the National Organic Program has received over 3,500 comments on the program. The Organic Check-Off would create a 17-member governance board of stakeholders who would decide on allocating research, promotion, and technical assistance funds. The proposed program would generate funds from all organic operations (farms, ranches, processors, handlers, and importers). Organic operations would contribute one-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 10, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The comment period is closing soon for the proposed rule removing 11 materials from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).    Comments are accepted until April 19, 2017 on regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-16-0052-0001.    If the substances are removed from the National List, use of the substances will be prohibited in organic production beginning June 27, 2017. More information on the substances can be found here.   CCOF encourages all to submit comments. Contact CCOF’s Policy Team for additional information and questions.  
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 10, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The deadline to submit comments on the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order, commonly known as the Organic Check-Off, is closing on April 19, 2017. The program would create a 17-member governance board that would decide how to allocate research, promotion, and technical assistance funds generated by the program. Under the proposed program, all organic operations (farmers, ranchers, processors, handlers, and importers) would contribute one-tenth of 1 percent of their operation’s net organic sales each year. Any certified operation with a gross organic revenue of less than $250,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted nine comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their 2017 spring meeting. The comments cover many agenda items, including the 2019 Sunset Review substances. NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program that meets twice a year. This spring, the board will meet in Denver, Colorado, on April 19-21, 2017. NOSB will begin the yearly Sunset Review process in which it reviews substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) to determine their status in organic production. This year 43 substances are...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy, water

The Central Coast Water Board approved a new Agricultural Order on March 8, 2017. This is a three-year Agricultural Order which must be replaced by March 7, 2020. The new Agricultural Order is the third Agricultural Order adopted in the central coast region, so is referred to as Ag Order 3.0. Ag Order 3.0 requires groundwater monitoring in 2017 and also expands the Total Nitrogen Applied reporting requirement. Please review the highlights of these two requirements below. We will provide additional information soon, such as an updated compliance calendar, information about workshop...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, marketing, policy

The deadline to comment on two proposed rules for the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order (also known as the Organic check-off program) has been extended through April 19, 2017. The proposed check-off program is projected to raise at least $30 million per year to fund organic research, technical assistance, and promotion of the organic brand. What Will the Check-Off Do? The check-off would create a 17-member governance board comprised of eight certified organic producers, seven certified organic handlers, one certified organic importer, and one at-large public member. This...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss agricultural labor issues, rural job development, and opportunities for career technical education at its upcoming meeting on April 4, 2017, in Sacramento. Over the next 5-10 years, on-farm automation and research will impact the agricultural sector, creating a need for rural job development and technical training for farm workers in communities across the state. The meeting will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street – Main Auditorium, Sacramento, CA 95814. “...

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