Update on AB 1826, the California Organic Food and Farming Act

CCOF is proudly sponsoring California Central Coast Assemblymember Mark Stone’s recently-introduced bill—the California Organic Food and Farming Act (COFFA), AB 1826. COFFA will update the California State Organic Program to cap fees, eliminate paperwork for certified organic producers, and create a state framework that better supports organic farmers and businesses.

The California Organic Food and Farming Act, AB 1826, will:

  1. End redundant SOP registration paperwork for certified organic operations by requiring accredited certification agencies (ACAs) to annually submit to the state the same information they submit to the National Organic Program for monitoring and enforcement.
  2. Continue to require operations that are exempt from federal certification requirements (operations that have less than $5,000 in gross annual organic sales, certain handlers, and retail food establishments that process organic product) and ACAs to register with the State Organic Program and pay an annual registration fee.  
  3. Expand the role of the state organic advisory committee to promote organic agriculture. The advisory committee will continue to advise the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on enforcing the federal organic standards and will have new authority to advise the Secretary and the University of California and California State University on organic outreach, education, research, and technical assistance.
  4. Allow the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture to receive and spend state or federal funds to conduct enforcement activities, such as monitoring and investigating potential fraud, in order to strengthen and supplement USDA enforcement activities. The Secretary may also, in consultation with the advisory committee, support organic outreach, education, research, and technical assistance.
  5. Cap fees and allow the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture to reduce fees in the future if the National Organic Program finds a way to provide the state with funding for enforcement in California.

For updates on amendments and the progress of COFFA, visit www.ccof.org/coffa.

You can read the bill language here and send a support letter to your state assemblymember.

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