Blog posts by Meaghan Donovan

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 Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 8, 2018 on CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, grower, regulatory

New federal food safety regulations are starting to take effect. If you grow, harvest, pack, or hold produce for human consumption you may need to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. Compliance dates for some produce farms start at the beginning of 2018. Does my farm need to comply with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? The FSMA Produce Safety Rule has different compliance levels based on operation size and type. The CCOF Foundation hosted a How Do I Need to Comply with FSMA? Webinar to help produce growers figure out what compliance level they fall into. The...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. On December 11, the CCOF Foundation will host a webinar that reviews the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added products—such as jams, salsas, and dried fruit—through the USDA National Organic Program.    Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will give an overview of the organic certification process for value-added products. Then, learn about the different avenues farms can take to get into processing, including on-farm processing, shared...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 6, 2017 on events, grower

Are you looking to connect with produce buyers in Northern California?    Each winter, the CCOF Foundation runs a tour of the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, connecting organic growers with buyers who specialize in organic produce. Tour participants visit the facilities of established organic produce buyers, including Earl’s Organic Produce and Veritable Vegetable. Market staff also review what it takes to deal in wholesale, including requirements for packing, shipping, and labeling.    This tour sells out early every year, so reserve your spot today! Visit the CCOF website to find...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 27, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, food safety

On Monday, produce growers from across Northern California gathered in Sacramento for a workshop on on-farm food safety. Taught by Atina Diffley—organic farmer and author of the book Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works—workshop participants put together action plans to address food safety on their individual operations. In building their plans, growers considered market needs, as well as the new federal food safety regulations. Particularly relevant to organic farmers, participants used maps of their farms to conduct field and land use risk assessments so they can balance on-farm...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 5, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met in mid-November to hear public comment, vote on the 2018 Sunset Materials, and discuss and vote on various proposals. NOSB also held officer elections, and the board elected CCOF member Jesse Buie to serve as their new secretary. NOSB thanked outgoing members for their service, including CCOF member, inspector, and policy specialist Zea Sonnabend. Carmela Beck, representing Driscoll’s, also completed her term on the board. Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on seven proposals during the fall 2016 meeting. While most proposals...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 14, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held November 16-18 in St. Louis, Missouri. This biannual meeting impacts which materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). The agenda for the fall NOSB meeting includes the review of a diverse set of materials, including carrageenan used in organic processing and copper sulfate used in organic rice production. NOSB will also discuss numerous other...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 29, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Farmers and ranchers in California must submit water test results and develop nutrient management plans for their landholdings under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. How California Regulates Water Quality in Relation to Irrigated Lands California’s nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB) manage water quality on a regional basis. RWQCB responsibilities include regulating all pollutant discharges that may impact surface or ground water quality. In 2003, California created the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program to address wastes discharged from agricultural irrigated lands,...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met at the end of April to hear public comment, discuss the 2018 Sunset Materials, and vote on a number of proposals. NOSB also welcomed six new board members at the April meeting, including CCOF member Jesse Buie! Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on 12 proposals during the spring 2016 meeting. Most notably, NOSB voted on multiple proposals to change the use of parasiticides in organic livestock production. NOSB made a final recommendation to update organic regulatory language to require: “That parasiticides continue to be...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 25, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The spring 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 25-27 in Washington, D.C. This biannual meeting impacts which materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). NOSB will review a diverse set of materials at the meeting, including copper sulfate used in organic rice production and carrageenan used in organic processing. CCOF Certification Services President Jake Lewin will attend the in-person...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 4, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

Don’t miss out! Submit your feedback to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)1 before the April 14 deadline. NOSB will meet April 25-27 in Washington, D.C. to review organic materials and standards. During the April meeting, NOSB will review numerous materials, including copper sulfate used in organic rice production and carrageenan used in organic processing. Your operation may be affected! To advocate on your behalf, CCOF will submit comments on materials and standards, but NOSB needs to hear from you, too! Advocate for and protect the integrity of organic standards by simply: Giving...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 28, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, policy

Spring has arrived and the next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting is just around the corner! It’s time to submit comments on materials and weigh in on NOSB recommendations to the National Organic Program (NOP). Spring 2016 Meeting The next NOSB meeting will be April 25-27 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. NOSB is a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other representatives, which recommends changes and adjustments to organic standards to the USDA NOP. NOSB reviews all materials allowed in organic production on a five-year cycle, known as the...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 7, 2016 on events

The Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District, in collaboration with the Shasta County Agricultural Commissioner, is hosting a workshop that focuses on the regulations of and resources for organic production in Shasta County. CCOF will be there! Join us and other speakers, including: Mike Darrow, Agricultural & Standards Investigator at the Shasta County Department of Agriculture, will review the regulatory requirements associated with using pesticides approved for organic operations. Peter Bonkrude, District Manager of the Shasta Mosquito and Vector Control District, will introduce...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Friday, February 12, 2016 on events

A conference on biocontrols will be held March 3-4 at the Hyatt Regency Monterey in Monterey, California. Hosted by Meister Media Worldwide and the Biopesticide Industry Alliance, the Bio Controls USA 2016 Conference and Expo is geared toward growers, Pest Control Advisors (PCAs), and Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs). During the conference, industry experts will offer hands-on educational sessions on the use of biocontrols in agriculture. Conference attendees can earn continuing education credits for PCAs, CCAs, and other state education programs. The extensive exhibit hall offers attendees the...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, February 8, 2016 on advocacy, food safety, policy

Wild Farm Alliance recently announced the release of the publication Co-Managing Farm Stewardship with Food Safety GAPs and Conservation Practices: A Grower's and Conservationist’s Handbook. The publication provides a resource for organic produce growers taking steps to address food safety on their farms, while continuing to conserve biodiversity and natural resources. FDA Food Safety Regulations Encourage On-Farm Conservation In November 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the final Produce Rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In the preamble of that FSMA...

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