Blog posts by Peter Nell

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...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, employment

CCOF members Colin and Karen Archipley are featured in a new documentary titled “The Farm.” The film highlights the Archipleys’ certified organic hydroponic farm Archi’s Acres and their work with veterans enrolled in the Archi’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture.   The film follows transitioning military service members as they begin and complete the six-week course on organic agribusiness at Archi’s. The foundation of the program is learning sustainable agribusiness and farming methods and business development through practical and applicable skills.    Over 400 students have graduated...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, import and export, NOP, NOSB, policy


CCOF Certification Services LLC President Jake Lewin presented on an expert panel discussing organic imports at the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in Tucson, Arizona. The panelists discussed oversight of organic imports and tracking organic products throughout the supply chain.    “We have feasible, clear steps that we can take to shore up certifier oversight of imports and allegations of fraud,” said Lewin in his opening remarks.    Lewin outlined three first-step solutions to immediately increase oversight of imported organic crops and products. Those solutions include...
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;...

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