Blog posts by Peter Nell

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...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 on NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second yearly meeting in St. Paul on October 24-26, 2018. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in St. Paul.  The NOSB will host two webinars on October 16, 2018 and October 18, 2018 from 1:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern. Those interested in the webinar must register before October 4, 2018. Commenters are allotted a 3-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in St. Paul. In-person commenters must register...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 24, 2018 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The deadlines to submit public comments and register for oral comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at their fall meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota 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 and the other NOSB agenda items.Click here to read NOSB's meeting materials (discussion documents, petitions, proposals, and Sunset Reviews).Crop scope substances:Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanolSodium carbonate peroxyhydrateNewspaper...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, standards


Ask Me About What's Not in Organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal last week that lists hundreds of chemicals and processes used in conventional food production that are prohibited in organic. The list includes the use of GMOs, glyphosate, sewage sludge, artificial preservatives, irradiation, and more.  The ad is in response to the Wall Street Journal running an opinion editorial making false claims about organic. CCOF board member and certified organic farmer Vernon Peterson of Abundant Harvest Organics submitted a letter to the editor responding to the claims made in the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

CCOF joined with 27 diverse organizations to request that the Senate and House agriculture committee leadership include provisions supporting urban agriculture in the 2018 Farm Bill. CCOF supports expanding resources for farmers, and urban agriculture is a growing sector that increases opportunities for local organic foods in metropolitan areas. The letter notes that expanding support for urban agriculture will create economic opportunities and inspire a new generation of young and beginning farmers.  The letter requests that the farm bill require USDA create the Office of Urban Agriculture...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 17, 2018 on materials, materials and inputs, NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on October 24-26, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-18-0029-0001 until October 4, 2018. 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. NOSB discussed the substances at their spring 2018 meeting in Tucson, AZ and completed...
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...

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