Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 14, 2015 on rating system

Do you sell to Whole Foods? Are you interested in hearing more about and giving feedback on the Whole Foods Market (WFM) Responsibly Grown rating system? WFM is hosting a series of regional meetings around the United States in January, February, and March of 2016 to help growers and shippers understand their Responsibly Grown rating system. This is your chance to meet with the WFM Procurement Team for a discussion about the rating system for produce and flowers. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the rating system changes proposed for 2016 and provide feedback and input on the program...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 on marketing, research

As organic researchers, we are very excited about the prospect of organic check-off funds going towards supporting research to help us address U.S. organic farmers’ most pressing needs to increase production of organic food, feed and fiber. For years, we have fought the federal government and our state universities for every organic research dollar. Traditionally, organic research has been woefully underfunded. Unfortunately, this lack of funding has a real impact on organic producers, and translates into a lack of methods and tools useful for current organic farmers and reduced support for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 16, 2015 on member news


The Organic Coup

The Organic Coup, America’s first USDA Certified Organic fast food restaurant, certified by CCOF, opened its first location in Pleasanton, California, on Tuesday, November 10. The restaurant serves only organic options, featuring a crispy chicken sandwich. The Organic Coup was created to progress the organic movement and change the way people think about food. The name is Coup, not Coop, because it was hatched to spark a food revolution in which consumers help to transform the conventional food system. “The inspiration for The Organic Coup came from the lack of convenient clean food available...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 on grower, seeds

For growers producing organic baby leaf crops, the spread of bacterial diseases can be rapid with devastating results. Additionally, harvesting clean, organic, pathogen-free seed is another challenge for both seed producers and growers. Short of discarding the seed or accepting a decline in harvest quality, organic growers have few viable options to recover their crop once it is infected with bacterial diseases. One bacterial disease that has a significant impact on the production of baby leaf vegetable crops is Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata. This bacterium is commonly called bacterial leaf...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 5, 2015 on advocacy, general organic, research

National policies, issues, and institutions affect organic farmers, yet we lack a strong presence to ensure that the certified organic farmer’s viewpoint, needs, and concerns are represented in the national arena. To address this situation, several organic farming organizations have been discussing building a more effective and clearer voice for certified organic farmers. We are proud of certified organic’s growth and growing prominence in the marketplace, and believe now is the time that farmers, who are at the core of this success, establish a focused and strong voice. To ensure we are...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, September 25, 2015 on rating system

In July CCOF and Whole Foods Market announced that productive discussions between organic farmers and the retailer would result in adjustments to Whole Foods Market’s Responsibly Grown rating system. Read more about this announcement on our blog. Following is a list of the proposed adjustments and a report from Vice President of Procurement – Perishables Edmund LaMacchia on their status. Certified organic produce and flowers will be granted a minimum rating of “Good” until January 1, 2016. No certified organic produce will be labeled as “Unrated.” Done   Whole Foods Market will adjust...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 31, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF encourages growers who implement conservation practices to contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The NRCS is undertaking a major “reboot” of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which will be implemented at the beginning of 2016. This “reboot” is an important opportunity for farmers to provide feedback to the NRCS. Specifically, CCOF is encouraging the NRCS to make the following improvements to CSP:NRCS should rank existing conservation practices the same as additional conservation practices. NRCS has consistently...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 10, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF is continuing to search for feedback from farmers who have experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).If you have experience with CSP or are interested in the program, please take a few minutes to complete the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSP_Survey_Feedback.This is a busy time of year, and we greatly appreciate any feedback. The results of this survey will help make CSP more accessible to farmers.What is the Conservation Stewardship Program? CSP is a national conservation program administered by the USDA’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, July 17, 2015 on financial assistance, policy

CCOF is seeking the feedback of farmers who have experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Whether you are currently enrolled in CSP, have enrolled in the past, attempted to apply, or are just thinking about signing up, we want your input! We are looking for information such as personal experience with the program, barriers you have encountered, criticisms or praises, and any other relevant information. Contact Eric Cissna at ecissna@ccof.org to share your experiences.What is the Conservation Stewardship Program? CSP is a national...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 on rating system

Today CCOF and Whole Foods Market (WFM) jointly announced new changes to WFM’s Responsibly Grown rating program and its enrollment process for certified organic flower and produce farmers. These changes include allowing current organic vendors to suspend enrollment efforts until the end of this year, immediately relieving pressure for many small and medium sized producers. WFM also announced its intention to positively alter both the scoring and presentation of certified organic products, while committing to expanded dialogue about the program with vendors and other stakeholders. CCOF’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 on rating system

In May of this year, a group of five certified organic fruit and vegetable farmers, whose combined careers represent 147 years’ experience in biological agriculture, approached the nation’s largest USDA National Organic Program (NOP) certifier, CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers), for help in defending our certified organic label’s value in a volatile marketplace.  This appeal was prompted by a recent rollout in 400 Whole Foods Market (WFM) stores. The nation’s iconic retailer of certified organic produce developed a proprietary fruit, vegetable, and flower rating system, known as...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 20, 2015 on CalCAN, policy

CalCAN is excited to announce our leadership in a newly introduced state bill called the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act, or Senate Bill 367. The bill was introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Yolo County), and is co-sponsored by CalCAN and our coalition partner, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). SB 367 promotes ‘climate-friendly’ agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon. It creates a new statewide competitive grant program, to be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, that would receive $50 million in cap-and-...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 13, 2015 on CalCAN, events, policy

The 4th Climate & Agriculture Summit at UC Davis was, by all accounts, CalCAN’s most successful Summit yet. The daylong gathering on March 25 brought together 320 participants, including 65 farmers and ranchers from across California. Our 60+ speakers, panelists, moderators and poster presenters were uniformly excellent, demonstrating the amazing diversity and expertise of CalCAN’s partners and friends. Overall, the 4th CalCAN Summit was a testament to how far we have collectively come in our work to unleash agricultural solutions to climate change—and an important reminder of the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 27, 2014 on farmers markets

California is the heart of our nation’s food and agricultural innovations, from popularizing farmers’ markets and organic agriculture in the 1970s and 1980s, to a renewed focus in recent years on fresh produce and local foods. As California goes, so goes the nation, right? With more than 800 farmers’ markets now operating in the Golden State, it is fair to say that California represents “ground zero” in the ever-evolving policy and operations issues that farmers’ markets face in the United States. Given this, the significance of Governor Jerry Brown signing Assembly Bill (AB) 1871 into law...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 on CCOF, policy

IntroductionKelly Damewood, CCOF Policy Director David Lester, student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, recently completed a summer internship with CCOF. Over the course of two months, he completed an in-depth review of county regulations that may support or encourage certified organic agriculture. Read on for an interesting and worthwhile summary of his findings. For over thirty years, CCOF – one of the first organic certification agencies in the United States – has worked on landmark law and policy such as the California Organic Food Act of 1979 and the National Organic Program (NOP). CCOF...

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