Blog posts by policy

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 11, 2017 on events, policy, water

The California State Water Board will host workshops across the state to assist cannabis cultivators with the enrollment process of the Cannabis General Order (General Waste Discharge Requirements and Waiver for Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities) and to obtain water rights under the Cannabis Small Irrigation Use Registration (SIUR) program.   Each workshop is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. with the following agenda:  Policy Overview 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Break for Lunch (on your own) 12:00 – 1:00 p.m...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 11, 2017 on member news, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently announced awards to 12 CCOF-certified organic farms through the CDFA Healthy Soils Program.    The Healthy Soils Program is an incentives program that funds climate-smart farming practices, which are practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Demonstration program recipients will implement conservation practices and convene public events to share outcomes with the community.   For the 2017 grant cycle, CDFA awarded $5.23 million to 86 recipients, including 12 CCOF-certified farms. Awardees will...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy

The California State Water Board is accepting comment on a second draft of the agricultural order for the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed through Friday, December 22, 2017, at noon.    CCOF strongly encourages organic growers from all regions of California to comment because this order will likely be replicated throughout the state. The requirements in the order could have significant costs and impacts for all growers because they will be required to report a large amount of detailed information annually, including data on nitrogen applications and crop yields.   What Is an Agricultural...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s three cannabis licensing authorities and regulators released their emergency regulations for medicinal and adult-use cannabis ahead of the January 1, 2018 legalization of cannabis.   The Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) is the lead agency in developing regulations. Their regulations cover the licensing of retailers, distributors, testing labs, and microbusinesses. BCC’s fact sheet includes licensing information, requirements by license type, testing lab requirements, enforcement information, and more.    CDFA’s CalCannabis is responsible for the licensing of cultivation...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 27, 2017 on advocacy, policy

  Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) meets with farmer Leslie Cooperband, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition    Last week, farmers from across the nation descended upon Washington, DC for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) first 2018 Farm Bill “fly-in”. NSAC’s farmer fly-ins provide farmers and farm/food advocates with the opportunity to speak directly with decision makers in Congress about the issues that most affect their lives, businesses, and communities. On November 8th, NSAC held our first of several fly-ins focused on...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 20, 2017 on CCOF, marketing, policy

The feature article for the fall edition of CCOF’s Certified Organic magazine is now available online for ready reference, to download, and to print on demand. The article provides an overview of what’s in the farm bill, describes the political dynamics around the farm bill, and presents organic farm bill priorities.    Please read it and share widely!
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 20, 2017 on events, policy


Last week, CCOF hosted a farm tour for the California State Legislature to highlight the challenges and opportunities for organic agriculture. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-CA-04) and legislative staff joined Paul Underhill at Terra Firma Farm and Thaddeus Barsotti at Capay Organic Farm. While the tour highlighted the multiple environmental and economic benefits of organic agriculture, it also clearly demonstrated the immense regulatory pressures organic farmers are struggling with today.    Underhill began the tour of Terra Firma Farm by broadly introducing organic and showing real-...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.   NIFA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture which funds food and agricultural research through a range of grants programs. The two federal programs dedicated to organic research, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy

On November 9, the USDA announced it would once again delay implementation the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices rule (OLPP).    This was a disappointing announcement for the organic community, which has asked for a long time that the USDA implement the OLPP which would clarify and strengthen organic standards for animal welfare. It was developed with over 14 years of public input and is supported by the vast majority of organic stakeholders as demonstrated by the over 40,000 public comments in support of the OLPP. Despite overwhelming support for the rule, the USDA did not implement...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, events, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), in collaboration with California Department of Water Resources (DWR) and other state entities, are hosting a Public Forum on Managed Groundwater Recharge to Support Sustainable Water Management. This all-day event will be held at the Sacramento Convention Center on November 8, 2017, and will bring together a variety of speakers to address recharge opportunities and issues.   Get more information and register.     Groundwater recharge is an important topic for California as the state continues to recover from an historic drought that...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in Jacksonville, Florida October 31 through November 2, 2017.    Organic stakeholders can now register to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Jacksonville.    The NOSB will host an online webinar on October 24, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 11, 2017. If all speaking slots are taken, NOSB will host an additional webinar on October 26, 2017 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will vote on the re-listing or removal of 43 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) at their meeting in Jacksonville, Florida on October 31 – November 2, 2017.    Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via https://www.regulations.gov/ using docket number AMS-NOP-17-0024-0001 until October 11, 2017. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through a pre-meeting webinar.   NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 28, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The state of California shared their 2018 Farm Bill recommendations with congressional leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The letter was signed by the heads of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the California Natural Resource Agency, and the California Health and Human Services Agency.    California’s recommendations cover funding food and nutrition programs, protecting and enhancing conservation programs, safeguarding marketing and trade programs, strengthening animal and plant health...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 21, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s new cannabis regulations are being crafted by numerous state agencies. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has issued two documents for review, the Cannabis Cultivation Policy and the General Order. Comments on each document are due Sept. 6, 2017, by noon Pacific time.   The Water Board has also posted a Staff Report that provides the rationale for the draft policies. The Water Board will also accept public comments on this report.   The State Water Board is scheduled to hold two public hearings on October 17, 2017, in Sacramento, to receive oral comments...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 21, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee is now accepting nominations to fill 10 seats. The Committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on programs and services that USDA provides to the produce sector.   The Committee has a total of 25 members who represent the fruit and vegetable industry in the following capacities: Growers/Producers Wholesalers/ Distributors Importers/Exporters Processors Farmers Market Managers Food Hubs Association leaders Retail/Restaurant Food Service suppliers State departments of agriculture   USDA seeks to...

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