Blog posts by regulatory

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 14, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, general organic, policy, regulatory


Photo, left to right: Grant Brians, CCOF Board of Directors member; Laura Batcha, OTA; Melody Meyer, UNFI; Sam Farr, retired Congressman; Karen Ross, California Secretary of Agriculture; Mark Lipson, organic farmer & OFRF senior policy and program specialist. CCOF-certified farmers and CCOF staff presented testimony at two farm bill listening sessions convened in California last week.   A listening session in Modesto on August 5 attracted an audience of over 250 to present their farm bill priorities to members of the House Agriculture Committee Michael Conaway (R-Texas...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, August 7, 2017 on advocacy, NOP, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s State Organic Program (SOP) is accepting public comments on a recent proposal to expand crop reporting requirements. Comments must be submitted no later than September 11, 2017.    Background   The SOP is a state-administered enforcement arm of the National Organic Program (NOP). It investigates complaints of fraud and monitors the organic marketplace to ensure a level playing field for certified organic operations. To assist in its duties, the SOP requires all organic producers to annually register with the state.   The proposed rule would...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 7, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet via web conference on August 14, 2017 at 1:00–3:00 p.m. to discuss hydroponics in organic food production.    Access the web conference at https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3itgag2r7btt&eom.   CCOF highly encourages stakeholders and those interested to listen into the web conference.   NOSB is a federal advisory committee composed of 15 volunteers representing farmers; handlers; environmental protection and resource conservation; public interest and consumer groups; toxicology, ecology, or biochemistry; retailers; and organic certifying...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 7, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, general organic, policy, regulatory

When Congress takes its August recess and Members go home to their districts, it’s a great time to meet with them directly. This year, it’s an especially good time for farmers to express their thoughts directly on the farm bill coming for renewal in 2018. This week I had the pleasure of sitting in with organic growers from Butte County, California when they met with their Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Oroville).   Hosting the meeting were members of Lundberg Family Farms, organic rice producers and processors.  Other growers joining the meeting were Phil LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards and CCOF...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 24, 2017 on general organic, regulatory

Long time CCOF ally Community Alliance with Family Farmers is a regional partner of the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC). LFSC has developed a needs assessment survey to gather input to support farmers and processors in complying with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act regulations.    Farmers, what food safety help do you need? Please fill out this needs assessment survey to let LFSC know how they can help you. This survey is voluntary and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. After completing the survey, you may elect to enter your personal information to be entered in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 17, 2017 on CCOF, general organic, regulatory

To ensure that all CCOF-certified members are represented at the board of directors level, members must approve changes to the CCOF bylaws that will allow the board to establish new chapters. This fall, all certified members will have the opportunity to vote to amend CCOF’s membership bylaws accordingly. In September, members will receive ballots and materials and will have 30 days to respond. A 10 percent quorum is required to enact these revisions to the bylaws.   About the Amendments   The amendments to the bylaws will allow the board to form chapters that include currently unrepresented...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will hold a farm bill listening session in Modesto, California on August 5, 2017. Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson will gather input from farmers and stakeholders that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   The farm bill is a crucial piece of legislation that affects millions of Americans. It is passed by Congress every five years and sets the nation’s food and agriculture policies. It consists of 12 major sections or titles: commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, forestry...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, regulatory, standards

Farmers and ranchers in the San Diego region have until August 7, 2017, to enroll in the Agricultural Order, a set of monitoring and reporting requirements that regulates pollutant discharges from agricultural lands.    Each of California’s nine regional water quality control boards are at various stages of implementing an agricultural order. The San Diego Water Board adopted an Agricultural Order for the San Diego region in November 2016.   Growers can comply with the Agricultural Order by joining a third-party group, such as the San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group, or apply as an...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy, regulatory

The House Committee on Agriculture will host Farm Bill listening sessions in San Angelo, Texas on July 21, 2017 and in Morgan, Minnesota on August 3, 2017. The sessions will provide legislators insight that will help them form the 2018 Farm Bill.   More information regarding the sessions will be available shortly. The sessions are often broadcasted on the House Committee on Agriculture website. Copies of witness testimonies will also be available.     Both the House and Senate Committees on Agriculture have hosted farm bill listening sessions across the country. The sessions give members of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 17, 2017 on advocacy, funding, general organic, policy, regulatory

Support continued funding of the National Organic Program (NOP) by using the Organic Trade Association’s portal to contact your representatives and convey the importance of continuing strong NOP oversight over organic certification.   CCOF highly encourages members and the organic community to contact their representatives and advocate on behalf of organic and importance of funding NOP.    The House Appropriations Committee could affect NOP funding in several ways. One interference tactic is to add rider bills to budget bills that would block funding. The Organic Livestock and Poultry...
Written by Antonina Hines on Monday, July 17, 2017 on general organic, help and tips, regulatory

Many fertilizers and some herbicides and pesticides are labeled as “organic,” even though they aren’t allowed for use in organic production. These products are using the word “organic” as a chemist would, meaning they contain carbon compounds. The USDA only restricts the use of the word “organic” on food products, which allows companies to put whatever they choose on an input label as long as it is factual. This does not mean that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has approved these inputs for use in organic production.   Farmers and home gardeners may understandably be confused by this...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

California Governor Jerry Brown authorized $10 million in funding in the 2017 budget to prevent the spread of the invasive insect Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB), a citrus-killing disease carried by the insect. ACP feeds on citrus plant leaves and stems, causing deformation and plant stunting. It is a known carrier of HLB. The insect and disease have causes over $7 billion in economic impact in Florida, and its arrival in California poses a major threat. While it has yet to spread to commercial citrus trees, approximately 375 trees have been removed in Kern County, and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on general organic, policy, regulatory

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released their 2017 Sunset final rule. The rule removes three synthetic substances and five non-organic agricultural substances from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and renews three other substances.    The final rule is consistent with the 2015 recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. NOSB makes recommendations to remove substances from the National List using the criteria...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 10, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

Both the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and the United States House Committee on Agriculture have busy weeks with key farm bill hearings scheduled. On July 13, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. PST, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will have a full committee hearing titled Opportunities in Global and Local Markets, Specialty Crops, and Organics: Perspectives for the 2018 Farm Bill.   The hearing will be the first time organic agriculture will be highlighted in a 2018 Farm Bill hearing. The committee will announce witnesses shortly. A live-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 3, 2017 on policy, regulatory, standards

The National Organic Program (NOP) has issued a memorandum in response to the National Organic Standards Board’s (NOSB) recommendations made at its spring 2017 meeting.    At their spring 2017 meeting in Denver, NOSB, the 15-member federal advisory committee that provides advice to USDA and the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, recommended that L-Methionine, an essential amino acid, be added to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The National List includes allowed and prohibited synthetic, non-synthetic, and non-organic substances.    NOP responded to...

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