Blog posts by regulatory

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds.  The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said: “It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced proposed rulemaking on updated industrial hemp cultivation regulations for California. The updated regulations establish a registration fee for commercial industrial hemp cultivators and allow for California farmers to begin hemp cultivation.  Written comments will be accepted on the updated regulations until 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments can be submitted to Dean.Kelch@cdfa.ca.gov via email or mailed to: Dean Kelch Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services 1220 N Street Sacramento...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, regulatory, water

The Central Coast Water Quality Control Board is holding a series of stakeholder meetings in Watsonville, Salinas, and Santa Maria next week to update the public on the next version of the region’s agricultural order and to gather public comment. The Central Coast Water Board needs to hear from farmers, particularly organic farmers, about the steps they already take to reduce nitrogen application and protect water quality. The board also needs to hear farmers’ ideas on how to reduce ground and surface water impairment without creating an overly burdensome regulatory structure. Agricultural...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is accepting public comments on modified cannabis cultivation regulations until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5. Comments may be submitted to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa.ca.gov or mailed to: Amanda Brown, Regulations CoordinatorCalifornia Department of Food and AgricultureCalCannabis Cultivation Licensing DivisionP.O. Box 942871Sacramento, CA 94271 The proposed changes are in response to comments received to comments received during the notice of proposed rulemaking and hearings conducted in July and August 2018. CCOF submitted public comments on the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 23, 2018 on policy, regulatory

The three California state cannabis licensing authorities released their proposed permanent regulations. Each licensing authority will accept public comments on their proposed regulations until 5:00 p.m. on August 27, 2018. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA): CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing divisions’ proposed regulations cover cannabis cultivators. Written comments may be submitted to CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing via mail or email. Emailed comments should be submitted with the subject line “Comments on Cannabis Cultivation Regulations” to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa....
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on marketing, policy, regulatory


Milk

California dairy producers have voted to approve a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the state of California. The California FMMO was proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and received producer approval by at least a two-thirds vote.   The California FMMO will adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used in other FMMO systems. Producer quotas will be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). A FMMO requires handlers of milk within a state to pay minimum class prices according to how...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on general organic, inspection, regulatory

In 2019, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will begin conducting Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) inspections on produce farms. In preparation for these inspections, CDFA is offering practice FSMA inspections, which CDFA refers to as On-Farm Readiness Reviews (OFRRs). Read the blog post below for more information.   While an OFRR is a practice inspection, it is important to note that CDFA inspectors are still required to report egregious food safety conditions that could lead to a public health issue if not immediately corrected. If an egregious condition is found...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing establishing a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California.    The establishment will be subject to producer approval by referendum. Two-thirds of the eligible producers or producers representing two-thirds of the milk produced in California will need to vote in favor of the FMMO for the FMMO to be established.  AMS hosted a public meeting on April 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Clovis, California to explain and answer questions relating to the California...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 26, 2018 on events, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division will host seven public workshops throughout California starting on March 27. CDFA will provide guidance on how to complete the annual cannabis cultivation license application, including information on business-entity structure documentation, bond forms, criminal history, fees, local-authorization documents, and diagram requirements.    The workshops will be in an open-house format to allow participants the opportunity to ask questions about their individual applications. CalCannabis will be...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 19, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, grower, regulatory

The CCOF Foundation’s Organic Training Institute (OTI) is offering food safety workshops throughout 2018 that meet the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers.  Our most recent workshop was held near Fresno, California earlier this month.    FSMA is the first major overhaul to food safety regulations since 1938 and includes new regulations that directly impact growers of fresh produce. Produce farms that gross between $250,000-$500,000 in annual sales may be required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule to have a supervisor attend a Produce Safety Alliance (...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, policy, regulatory

In light of California’s new recreational cannabis cultivation and sales allowances, some organic producers are considering adding cannabis cultivation to their operations. However, producers should be aware that USDA has a long-standing policy regarding cannabis production, which could impact grower’s eligibility for a range of USDA programs including Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and crop insurance.    USDA staff cannot provide technical assistance to cannabis producers and producers with conservation contracts with NRCS who are growing cannabis...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 12, 2018 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory


DC

From left to right: Karen Archipley (Archi's Acres), Victor Cortes and Veronica Cortes (ALBA farmers certified organic by CCOF), Rep. Jim Costa, Wes King (NSAC), Jane Sooby (CCOF), and Gerardo Fuentes (farm incubator director, ALBA).    Just in time to contribute suggestions to the 2018 Farm Bill currently being written by the Agriculture Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, the national advocacy group National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) invited CCOF-certified farmers and staff to fly to Washington D.C., to visit key Congressional offices and tell their stories about...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, grower, regulatory


veggies

Don’t miss the opportunity to attend a workshop that meets the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) training requirement for produce growers at a discounted rate.  Normally, these trainings can cost hundreds of dollars per person, but thanks to a grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the CCOF Foundation is offering these trainings for $35 per attendee. The ticket price includes course materials, lunch, and certificate fees.   Workshops will be held throughout California, including locations near Fresno, Sacramento, San Diego, Petaluma, and Monterey. The Fresno, San...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 on policy, regulatory, water


Water

The California State Water Resources Control Board adopted requirements for commercial and personal medical use cannabis cultivation. The requirements—the Cannabis Cultivation Policy—aim to reduce impacts from discharges of waste and water diversions.    The Cannabis Cultivation Policy is available online. The policy should be referenced by cannabis cultivators who divert surface water to irrigate cannabis or plan to.    Licensed cannabis cultivators must register with the State Water Board under one or two cannabis cultivation regulatory programs. Applications for the State Water Board...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 29, 2018 on general organic, NOP, regulatory, standards

USDA proposed new updates to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) that include 29 recommendations on 35 substances from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. The proposal includes updating the restrictions of 17 substances, prohibiting ivermectin in organic livestock production, prohibiting rotenone to align with EPA regulations, and adding 16 substances to the National List.  The...

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