Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 13, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) released a new report and two policy memos as part of the program’s Organic Enforcement Action Plan.  The report, Organic Import Oversight: Collaboration Opportunities and Technology Needs Assessment, responds to recommendations from the USDA Office of Inspector General on oversight of imported organic products. The report details NOP’s recent activities and the steps it is taking to collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  NOP’s new Policy Memos also...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 13, 2018 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its second annual meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 24-26, 2018. The board will vote to retain or remove 40 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) and will also vote on proposals and discussion documents.  The deadline to submit written comments is October 4, 2018. Commenting will open when the meeting materials are released (approximately six weeks before the meeting). The deadline to submit oral comments via webinar or in person in Minnesota is also October 4, 2018. Registration...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) will honor three outstanding CCOF leaders at its upcoming annual Organic Leadership Awards Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland on September 12, 2018 during Natural Products Expo East. Javier Zamora of CCOF-certified JSM Organics will receive the Rising Star Award. Stephanie and Blake Alexandre of Alexandre EcoDairy Farm will receive the 2018 Organic Farmers of the Year award.  “These three deserving CCOF members are being recognized for their strong leadership within the organic sector. Javier and the Alexandres are exemplary organic farmers who share a deep...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 23, 2018 on policy, regulatory

The three California state cannabis licensing authorities released their proposed permanent regulations. Each licensing authority will accept public comments on their proposed regulations until 5:00 p.m. on August 27, 2018. California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA): CDFA’s CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing divisions’ proposed regulations cover cannabis cultivators. Written comments may be submitted to CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing via mail or email. Emailed comments should be submitted with the subject line “Comments on Cannabis Cultivation Regulations” to CalCannabisRegs@cdfa....
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 on general organic, NOP

The National Organic Program (NOP) will host an interactive webinar on the upcoming Strengthening Organic Enforcement rule on July 17 from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will provide an overview on the proposed rule and opportunities for stakeholders to submit feedback.   Webinar Logistics   Date:  Tuesday, July 17, 2018    Time:  1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time   To participate, access the meeting website: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3lysp7ou67ay&eom.   For questions about the webinar, please contact the NOP at (202) 720-8556. 
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, July 2, 2018 on advocacy

Three producer and six producer alternate positions are currently open on the California Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee. The Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee advises the California Secretary of Agriculture and the CDFA Certified Farmers’ Market Program. The committee is comprised of 6 producers, 6 certified farmers’ market operators, 1 consumer, and 1 county agricultural commissioner with an alternate for each position. Each member serves a 2-year term.   The focus of the committee is on: Promoting the demand and consumption of agricultural products purchases...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 25, 2018 on NOP

USDA announced the appointment of Dr. Jennifer Tucker as Deputy Administrator of the National Organic Program (NOP) under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Dr. Tucker previously served as the Associate Deputy Administrator of the NOP. As Deputy Administrator of the NOP, Dr. Tucker will oversee the development and enforcement of the national organic standards.    CCOF applauds Dr. Tucker’s appointment. Her proven commitment to working with diverse organic stakeholders and her expertise in organic standards will ensure strong leadership for NOP. 
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on advocacy, policy


Hemp

In late May, the California Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 1409 (R-Wilk-21) and is now being considered in the Assembly. SB 1409 would remove 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 and increase access to hemp seed.    CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because the bill would ensure that hemp grown for food and fiber in California is eligible for organic certification. If implemented, the authorized hemp...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on marketing, policy, regulatory


Milk

California dairy producers have voted to approve a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) for the state of California. The California FMMO was proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and received producer approval by at least a two-thirds vote.   The California FMMO will adopt the same dairy product classification and pricing provisions used in other FMMO systems. Producer quotas will be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). A FMMO requires handlers of milk within a state to pay minimum class prices according to how...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 11, 2018 on advocacy

Three producer and six producer alternate positions are currently open on the California Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee. The Certified Farmers’ Market Advisory Committee advises the California Secretary of Agriculture and the CDFA Certified Farmers’ Market Program. The committee is comprised of six producers, six certified farmers’ market operators, one consumer, and one county agricultural commissioner, with an alternate for each position. Each member serves a two-year term.   The focus of the committee is on: Promoting the demand and consumption of agricultural products...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 4, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy


CCOF Member Darrell Wood of Leavitt Lake Ranches and Panorama Meats with California Senator Dianne Feinstein   The Organic Trade Association (OTA) held its annual Organic Week in Washington D.C. in late May. Hundreds of organic advocates flocked to DC to participate in the events, which included two conferences and meetings with congressional offices on Capitol Hill.   Organic Week began with The Organic Center’s Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brought together farmers, scientists, and organic stakeholders to discuss organic extension and knowledge transfer. CCOF member Javier Zamora...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 4, 2018 on import and export, marketing, NOP, organic market

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the National Organic Program (NOP) recently released their Summary of Activities and Overview Action Plan. The Summary of Activities summarizes NOP enforcement activities since fall 2017. The Overview Action Plan sets forth NOP’s planned enforcement and oversight activities.    In the Overview Action Plan, NOP states that it will maintain the following:  Strong organic control systems: trusted people, processes, and rules Farm to market traceability: worldwide supply chain integrity Robust enforcement: a level playing field for all.   The action...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 21, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

USDA announced the termination of the rulemaking process for the national certified organic marketing order. The marketing order was commonly known as the organic check-off. USDA reported that the rulemaking process was terminated because of “uncertain industry support and outstanding substantive issues with the proposed program.”   The program was proposed by the Organic Trade Association in 2015 to strengthen the position of certified organic products in the marketplace, support research to benefit the organic industry, and improve access to information and data across the organic sector...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, Non-GMO & More seal, standards

USDA is accepting comments on the proposed rule to establish the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The standard was mandated by Congress in 2016 to require food manufacturers and other food labeling entities to disclose information about bioengineered foods and bioengineered ingredients.   USDA is using the term “bioengineered” for what are commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are banned in organic production.    Comments will be accepted until July 3, 2018 via regulations.gov or by mail to Docket Clerk, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 4543-South,...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on general organic, materials and inputs, standards

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). The proposed rule is based on public input and recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).   AMS will accept public comments on the proposed rule until June 29, 2018. Comments can be submitted via regulations.gov.    At their Fall 2017 meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommended that AMS add elemental sulfur to the National List to treat livestock and livestock housing. Elemental...

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