Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 on CCOF, general organic, member news


CCOF shares a big appreciation to Bill Reynolds of Eel River Produce in Humboldt County for his expertise in seed breeding and commitment to organic agriculture. Reynolds, a certified organic farmer since 1989, is an organic farmer specializing in dry farming and known for developing the dark start zucchini, Eel River melon, stella blue squash, and other crops.  As told by Zea Sonnabend in an issue of Certified Organic, over twenty years ago Reynolds was having a difficult time finding a zucchini desirable for wholesalers. He worked with John Navazio to cross the hybrid “Raven” and heirloom “...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 11, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadline for nominations to fill upcoming vacancies on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is quickly approaching! USDA is seeking:– Two individuals who own or operate an organic farming operation, or employees of such individuals– Two individuals who represent public interest or consumer interest groups– One individual who is a USDA-accredited certifying agent Nominations must be submitted by June 1, 2020 and include a resume and an AD-755 Application form. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership. Members of NOSB participate in committee meetings, bi-monthly...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

Earlier this month the National Organic Program (NOP) announced that the upcoming National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held remotely. The board will hold their meeting starting on Wednesday, April 29 and concluding on Thursday, April 30 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. To tune in, register online.  NOSB meetings are biannual, held in the spring and fall, to provide recommendations on substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) and the organic standards. At the spring meeting, NOSB begins their yearly Sunset Review process...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 13, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) members. The deadline to submit nominations is June 1, 2020. Nominations must include a resume, an AD-755 Application form, and may also include a cover letter and references. Nominees must meet the criteria of NOSB membership, which includes having a general understanding of organic principles, practical experience in the organic community, demonstrated experience in the development of public policy, participation in standard development, and more. To apply, submit the application materials electronically to michelle....
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 23, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their spring meeting are approaching! It is critical that members of the organic community submit public comments on the substances up for re-listing or removal from the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) and the other NOSB agenda items.  The National Organic Program recently announced that the spring 2020 meeting will be held remotely. CCOF will share more details as they are announced.  The following substances are up for review for re-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their first yearly meeting in Arlington, Virginia April 29-May 1, 2020. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Virginia. The board will be discussing many topics at the meeting, including Sunset Reviews, materials petitions, discussion documents, and proposals.  The NOSB will host two webinars on April 21, 2020 and April 23, 2020 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern. Those interested in the webinar must register before April 3, 2020. Commenters are allotted a 3-minute comment slot and can only...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 9, 2020 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on April 29 – May 1, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-19-0095 until April 3, 2020. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through pre-meeting webinars. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status in organic production. Members of the board will use comments provided by the organic community to review and vote on...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 on advocacy, CCOF, events, policy

CCOF is excited to announce that Mary Kaems, principal consultant to California Speaker of the Assembly, will join the Rooting for Organic advocacy day on Wednesday, February 19. Kaems, a longtime supporter of organic agriculture and an important voice in the Capitol, will host an end-of-day debrief with attendees to learn about how the meetings throughout the day went, discuss next steps, and close the day in celebration.   At our Rooting for Organic advocacy day, stakeholders from across the organic sector will advocate for policies that support the growth of organic agriculture and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 18, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) released a final rule amending the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). Effective November 22, 2019, the NOP will add two substances to the National List and reclassify magnesium chloride. The rule is based off recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board’s spring 2018 meeting. The final rule expands the use of elemental sulfur in organic crop production by adding it to § 205.601(h) for use as a molluscicide bait to control slugs and snails. Elemental sulfur is already allowed for use as an insecticide, as plant...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Program released a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The proposed rule is based off public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board from 2018. Stakeholders may submit comment on the proposed amendment by December 17, 2019. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov using Docket Number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1913. The proposed rule would:Allow the use of blood meal made with sodium citrate to be used as a soil amendmentProhibit the use of natamycin in organic crop productionAllow tamarind seed gum to be...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 on general organic, policy

USDA released an interim final rule to establish a domestic hemp production program. The 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to establish a regulatory framework for hemp production. The framework will work in tandem with state production plans which must be submitted to USDA for review and approval. Hemp producers must comply with both USDA’s and their state’s regulations on the production of hemp.  The interim rule is effective October 31, 2019 through November 1, 2021. The interim final rule is open for public comment until December 30, 2019 using Regulations.gov docket number AMS_FRDOC_0001-1919...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

On October 1, 2019 USDA reopened the Origin of Livestock proposed rule for additional comments. The proposed rule was closed by USDA in 2015 without notice but was reopened for a new 60-day comment period. Comments can be submitted until December 2 to Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-11-0009-1572.  CCOF highly encourages members to submit comments on the proposed rule. It is important that both dairies that came under certification before and after the initial 2015 proposed rule submit comments. USDA notes that commenters who submitted comments in 2015 need not to resubmit comment...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 7, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy

Last week CCOF submitted eight written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of their fall 2019 meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The meeting will occur Wednesday, October 23, through Friday, October 25.  NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic Program and meets twice a year to provide recommendations on substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances and the organic standards. At their spring meeting earlier this year, NOSB began their 2021 Sunset Review process and will complete the reviews of the substances in...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research, roadmap

Earlier this year, CCOF Foundation launched the Roadmap to an Organic California project to highlight how organic farming addresses many of California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.    The Benefits Report presented over 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing how organic agriculture positively impacts the economy, society, and the environment. These studies demonstrate that organic farms are combatting climate change by building healthy soils that store...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research, roadmap

The CCOF policy team is in the midst of researching and writing recommendations for the second phase of the Roadmap to an Organic California project. The project presents the research-supported benefits of organic agriculture  and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.  Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in early 2019 and represents a comprehensive scientific review of the economic, social, and...

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