Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on advocacy, NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their second meeting of the year in Seattle on April 24-26, 2019. Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and at the meeting in Seattle.  The NOSB will host two webinars: the first on April 16, 2019, and the second on April 18, 2019, both from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Those interested in the webinars must register before April 4, 2019. Commenters are allotted a three-minute comment slot and can only register for one commenting slot on either day.  The NOSB will also accept in-person comments in...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on advocacy, general organic

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is accepting nominations for its annual Organic Leadership Awards. Nominations are due by April 30, 2019, for the prestigious Organic Farmer of the Year, Rising Star, and the Growing the Organic Community awards. The honorees will be celebrated at OTA’s Leadership Awards Celebration on September 11, 2019, to kick off Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland.  Last year, CCOF members Stephanie and Blake Alexandre of Alexandre Family Farms were honored with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award. The Alexandres were recognized for their exemplary...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 25, 2019 on general organic, NOSB, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The deadline to submit nominations is May 17, 2019. Nominations must include a resume and an AD-755 Application form, and must be postmarked on or before May 17, 2019. 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. NOSB members are volunteers who are appointed by USDA for five-year terms....
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 18, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) released their meeting materials ahead of their upcoming meeting on April 24-26, 2019, in Seattle, Washington.  Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via Regulations.gov using docket number AMS-NOP-18-0071-0001 until April 4, 2019. 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 will discuss and complete preliminary reviews for each substance in Seattle before voting...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet for its second annual meeting in Seattle, Washington on April 24-26, 2019. The board will vote to retain or remove substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances and will also vote on proposals and discussion documents.  The deadline to submit written comments is April 4, 2019. 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 Washington is also April 4, 2019. Registration for the oral comments...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Program (NOP) issued a proposed rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule proposed to allow elemental sulfur for use as a molluscicide, add polyoxin D zinc salt to control fungal diseases, and reclassify magnesium chloride as an allowed nonsynthetic ingredient in organic handling.Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until April 16, 2019, via www.regulations.gov under Docket Number AMS-NOP-18- 0051.Proposed reclassification of magnesium chloride as nonsyntheticMagnesium chloride derived from sea water is currently listed at §...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, February 11, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, regulatory

The members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) elected new leadership at their meeting during the annual EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, California. The committee elected Karen Archipley of Archi’s Acres as chair of the committee and Jeremy Johnson of Traditional Medicinals as vice chair. COPAC is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture on organic agriculture and issues related to organic production. COPAC’s 15 members and 15 alternate members represent organic producers, wholesalers, technical representatives,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 14, 2019 on general organic, materials and inputs, NOP, NOSB, regulatory

In late December, 2018, the National Organic Program (NOP) issued a final rule to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The rule changes the use restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production and/or handling, adds 16 new allowed substances, and prohibits rotenone in organic crop production and ivermectin as an allowed parasiticide. The rule also amends the national organic standards to allow the use of parasiticides in fiber bearing animals. The final rule is comprised of 35 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations. NOSB made the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, NOP, policy


Farm Bill

In late December, President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law. Crucially, the farm bill includes provisions to authorize and fund the National Organic Program (NOP), the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP), and other organic programs. CCOF and our members worked hard to build support for organic priorities in the farm bill throughout 2018. The 2014 Farm Bill expired in September 2018 without a replacement bill. However, Congress successfully pushed for the passage of the farm bill during the lame-duck session, the period after elections but before the new...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

Last week CCOF members signed a letter to USDA and National Organic Program (NOP) leadership urging the agency to issue a final rule on the Origin of Livestock. The letter notes that the Origin of Livestock rule is needed to provide consistent and enforceable requirements that clarify the sourcing of organic dairy herds.  The letter references a recent National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) unanimously-passed resolution regarding the 2015 Origin of Livestock proposed rule. The board’s resolution said: “It has come to the attention of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) just released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway.  “Research demonstrates that sustainable organic agriculture has...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on CCOF, member news

CCOF recently assisted National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz with identifying organic farms for aerial photos to accompany an article titled “We don’t have enough organic farms. Why not?” by journalist Rachel Cernansky. The article describes the growth of organic agriculture in the United States and the challenges faced by organic farmers. With the support of CCOF and other organic organizations, the article featured photos from organic farms across the country, including Alexandre Family Farms, Driscoll’s, Woodspur Farms, Earthbound Farms, and McEvoy Ranch. Read the full article...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, grower, policy, regulatory

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced proposed rulemaking on updated industrial hemp cultivation regulations for California. The updated regulations establish a registration fee for commercial industrial hemp cultivators and allow for California farmers to begin hemp cultivation.  Written comments will be accepted on the updated regulations until 5:00 p.m. on December 24, 2018. Comments can be submitted to Dean.Kelch@cdfa.ca.gov via email or mailed to: Dean Kelch Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services 1220 N Street Sacramento...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 3, 2018 on advocacy, education, member news

Peterson Family Farms and Three Sisters Organic are featured farmers in a new television documentary series called “Beyond the Harvest.” The series explores the farm to table phenomenon and highlights businesses in California’s Central Valley.  The series will air for 13 weeks in Fresno, Chico, Redding, and Bakersfield. Episodes will also be released online. The broadcast schedule is available online. The first episode of the series highlights Vernon Peterson of Peterson Family Farms. The series’ host Ray O’Canto explores the Peterson Family Farms orchards and packing facility following...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, November 19, 2018 on marketing, policy

USDA implemented the new California Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) on November 1, 2018. FMMOs are voluntary, industry-driven marketing initiatives that establish the terms of trade between farmers and the first buyer of milk. FMMOs also develop minimum milk prices based on market values with respect to supply and demand conditions. California dairy producers voted to approve the FMMO in June 2018. The order required at least a two-thirds vote from all dairy producers in California.  California organic producers are not exempted from the FMMO. Organic producers are exempted from some...

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