Blog posts by Peter Nell

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

  The National Organic Program (NOP) extended the commenting deadline for their proposed rule of 35 amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOP will now be accepting comments until May 14, 2018.    The proposed rule amends the National List by changing the restrictions for 17 substances allowed for organic production or handling; adding 16 new substances; prohibiting rotenone for organic crop production; and removing ivermectin as an allowed parasiticides for organic livestock production.    Proposed Updates to Existing Substances on National List...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, policy

USDA is accepting nominations for all 25 positions of the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). FVIAC examines issues facing the fruit and vegetable industry to provide ideas on ways to improve programs to better meet the changing needs of the produce industry.   The deadline for nominations is May 24, 2018. Nominees should submit a cover letter detailing qualifications, a resume (fewer than five pages), the required Form AD-755, and optional letters of endorsement. Nominations should be submitted to marlene.betts@ams.usda.gov or valerie.minick@ams.usda.gov;...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

The National Organic Program (NOP) will host a free webinar on advances in information technology to strengthen the integrity of the organic seal for producers, businesses, and consumers.   The hour-long webinar will begin at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Pre-registration is not required.    Participants can connect to the webinar online and over the phone: On the Web  Meeting URL:  http://www.readytalk.com Access Code: 7202000  By Phone  Toll-Free (U.S. & Canada): (866) 740-1260 Access Code: 7202000 Calling in from another country? Find a call-in number at...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 23, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic, policy

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-3) joins fellows California Congressional delegates in supporting organic integrity with his cosponsorship of the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act of 2017, H.R.3871.   H.R.3871 would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.   Twelve CCOF members recently signed a letter to Congressman Garamendi successfully urging him to support the bill. Congressman Garamendi responded to his...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 23, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Jeff Huckaby, president and CEO of Grimmway and Cal-Organic, to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.    The 15-member board advises the California governor and secretary of agriculture on key issues of importance to California’s farmers, ranchers, stakeholders, and citizens. The members represent a broad range of agricultural commodities, a variety of geographic regions, and both California university systems.    Cal-Organic became a CCOF member in 1995 and today manages over 45,000 certified organic acres. Huckaby originally joined...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on materials, materials and inputs, NOSB

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the renewal of 17 substances to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List) as part of the 2018 Sunset Review process. Notably, USDA renewed carrageenan to the National List, which the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) had recommended for removal. NOSB evaluates substances on the National List every five years to confirm that each substance continues to meet the required criteria for its allowance or prohibition. NOSB considers public comment and any new information pertaining to the substance’s impact on...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing establishing a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO) regulating the handling of milk in California.    The establishment will be subject to producer approval by referendum. Two-thirds of the eligible producers or producers representing two-thirds of the milk produced in California will need to vote in favor of the FMMO for the FMMO to be established.  AMS hosted a public meeting on April 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Building in Clovis, California to explain and answer questions relating to the California...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 2, 2018 on general organic, international, Japan, trade

USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is accepting applications for an agribusiness trade mission to Japan on June 11-15, 2018. Applications are due April 13, 2018.    CCOF encourages members exporting to or interested in exporting to Japan to apply.    The trade mission will provide American exporters with the opportunity to learn about Japan’s strict product regulations and Japanese consumer trends. Japan is an importer-dependent economy and U.S. exporters are the county’s top supplier of food and agricultural products. FAS’ Japan Exporter Guide reports further details on U.S. trade to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 2, 2018 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Paicines Ranch will host a four-day workshop on how to produce nutrient dense food by improving the health of animals, people, and the planet. The four-day workshop occurs April 12-15, 2018 and will be led by Dan Kittredge of the Bionutrient Food Association and Spencer Smith of the Jefferson Center for Holistic Management.   Tickets for the workshop began at $400 and will increase to $600.    The workshop will focus on soil health and the economic feasibility of farming and ranching including how to apply holistic management to operations. Soil health expert Jill Clapperton of Rhizoterra,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, farm bill, general organic, policy

Last week, Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-CA-01) took action to support his organic constituents when he signed on as a cosponsor of H.R.3871, the Organic Farmer and Consumer Protection Act.    20 CCOF-certified members signed a letter urging Congressman LaMalfa to support H.R.3871 because it would ensure a fair playing field for organic producers and protect consumer trust in the organic seal by strengthening the USDA National Organic Program’s oversight of domestic and international organic production.    CCOF applauds Congressman LaMalfa’s support for organic priorities and his continued...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 26, 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 Tucson 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.    Crop Scope Substances Alcohols: ethanol, isopropanol Sodium carbonate peroxyhdrate  Newspaper or other recycled paper  Plastic mulch and covers  Aqueous potassium silicate  Elemental sulfur Lime sulfur...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, policy, standards

USDA ignored the pleas of organic producers across the country when it announced its final decision to ignore the organic rulemaking process and withdraw the widely supported Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule.    CCOF members have long advocated for the OLPP rule because it would have brought greater clarity and consistency to organic livestock production and certification.     CCOF members are already in compliance with the majority of the provisions that would have been clarified under OLPP, including living conditions, preventive health care practices, stocking densities...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on NOSB

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will host their first yearly meeting in Tucson, Arizona on April 25-27, 2018.    Organic stakeholders can register now to speak at a pre-meeting webinar and/or at the meeting in Tucson.    The NOSB will host webinars on April 17, 2018 and April 19, 2018 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Those interested in the webinar must register before April 4, 2018. 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 Tucson. Commenters must register...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, policy


(L to R) Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance; Patricia Carrillo, ALBA; Assemblywoman Anna Caballero (D-Salinas); Dave Runsten, Community Alliance with Family Farmers; Peter Nell, CCOF   In early March, CCOF joined coalition members of the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) in Sacramento to advocate for California’s climate-smart agriculture programs. Attendees met with California legislators, staff members, and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary Karen Ross to discuss how agricultural programs can help California achieve climate goals and to...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 19, 2018 on advocacy, events, policy

The Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) Organic Week is an annual event that brings the organic sector to Washington D.C. for a week of conferences, meetings with legislators, and more.   CCOF’s top priority at this year’s Organic Week is Hill Visit Day—an event that brings organic farmers, ranchers, handlers, processors, organizations, and others into the offices and meeting rooms of Capitol Hill to advocate for organic priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill.    Organic Week also includes the Organic Center’s two day Organic Confluences Summit. The summit brings together a diverse group of organic...

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