Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so the GRO Organic Steering Committee...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on general organic, standards

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance documents for farms to comply with the federal Produce Safety Rule. The Produce Safety Rule establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce. FDA will accept public input on the draft guidance, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” at four meetings across the country and in written comments.  The draft guidance includes broad recommendations on how to meet the food safety...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on events, general organic, help and tips, NOP

The National Organic Program (NOP) designed an online training center to provide professional development and continuing education training for organic certifiers, inspectors, reviewers, and professionals. The Organic Integrity Learning Center will focus on serving professionals involved in compliance and enforcement roles in organic control systems.  The NOP will debut the system in a virtual town hall on Thursday, November 15 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST. Stakeholders can connect to the town hall two ways: Dial in by Phone Toll-free (United States & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code:...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Last week, USDA announced it will propose rulemaking on adverse actions appeals process within the national organic standards.  The proposed rule will streamline the appeals process and ensure that the National Organic Program (NOP) can more efficiently stop producers from marketing noncompliant products as organic.  The rulemaking is part of USDA’s broad strategy to strengthen oversight of organic imports. In July, NOP hosted a virtual town hall to engage organic stakeholders as they begin the rulemaking process and is focusing on ten topic areas: — Federated organic certificates— Satellite...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 29, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, regulatory

CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is accepting public comments on modified cannabis cultivation regulations until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5. Comments may be submitted to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa.ca.gov or mailed to: Amanda Brown, Regulations CoordinatorCalifornia Department of Food and AgricultureCalCannabis Cultivation Licensing DivisionP.O. Box 942871Sacramento, CA 94271 The proposed changes are in response to comments received to comments received during the notice of proposed rulemaking and hearings conducted in July and August 2018. CCOF submitted public comments on the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, member news

Last week, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 25 members to the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Secretary Perdue appointed CCOF members Jeff Huckaby of Cal-Organic Farms, Brian Kirschenmann of Kirschenmann Farms, and Kelly Carl Ely of FreshPoint to the committee. The appointed members will serve two-year terms on the FVIAC. The committee was originally chartered in 2001 to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Committee members represent organic and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is moving forward with a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education program.  OTA led efforts over the past couple years to create a national certified organic marketing order under USDA: GRO Organic. The program was initially proposed by OTA in 2015 and USDA released the proposed rule in 2017. Almost 15,000 public comments were received on the proposed rule. However, this spring USDA unexpectedly terminated the rulemaking process of the program before a referendum vote of all organic producers subject to the program was held. ...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, NOP, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted 10 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2018 NOSB meeting. NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall the meeting will be held on October 24-26, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the meeting in St. Paul, the board will complete the 2020 Sunset Reviews and NOSB will vote to relist or remove the substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will also vote and discuss other items. CCOF submitted the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on general organic, policy

In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 1459 into law. S.B. 1459 allows the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division to immediately create provisional cannabis cultivation licenses as a bridge between temporary and annual cultivation licenses. A provisional license will effectively be the same as an annual license but will not be renewable.  To qualify for a provisional commercial cannabis cultivation license, an applicant must:– Hold or have held a temporary cannabis cultivation license for the same premises and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, import and export, policy

Organic seed producers and companies making out-of-state sales may be impacted by the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States on South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The decision allows states to charge sales tax on out-of-state purchases, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state. Some states have begun requiring out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales tax on purchases, while others are setting or have set effective implementation dates.  Each state is implementing different criteria for taxable sales: some require sales tax if the seller...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, NOSB, policy

CCOF is committed to helping producers attend National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings by providing scholarships to cover the costs of travel and lodging.  Scholarships are currently available for the upcoming NOSB meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24-26, 2018.  To apply for the scholarship, please complete and submit the application to pnell@ccof.org by Friday, October 12, 2018. At their fall meeting, NOSB will vote to relist the 2020 Sunset Review materials to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB reviews all substances on the National...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on education, events, general organic, policy, water

The California State Water Resources Control Board will accept public comments on the proposed updates to the state cannabis water regulations. The State Water Board is proposing updates to the “Cannabis Cultivation Policy – Principles and Guidelines for Cannabis Cultivation,” “Cannabis Cultivation Policy Staff Report,” and the “General Waste Discharge Requirements and Wavier of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities (Cannabis Cultivation General Order).” Written comments will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, policy

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will hold a public hearing and commenting period regarding the designation of chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant. Chlorpyrifos is a prohibited pesticide in organic production.  DPR will accept written comments on chlorpyrifos until 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2018. Comments can be submitted electronically to dpr18002@cdpr.ca.gov or via fax to (916) 324-1491.  DPR will hold a public hearing on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at: California Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters BuildingSierra Hearing Room1001 I...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

In early October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1409 into law. SB 1409 removes barriers to hemp cultivation in California by authorizing the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to establish an industrial hemp pilot program, update and match the definition of hemp, increase access to hemp seed, and more.  CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because it would expand hemp production in California and open the possibility for organic certification of California hemp. The authorized hemp pilot program would align with the National Organic Program (NOP...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on financial assistance, NOSB, policy

CCOF is committed to helping producers attend National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings by providing scholarships to cover the costs of travel and lodging.  Scholarships are currently available for the upcoming NOSB meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24-26, 2018.  To apply for the scholarship, please complete and submit the application to pnell@ccof.org by Friday, October 12, 2018. At their fall meeting, NOSB will vote to relist the 2020 Sunset Review materials to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five...

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