Blog posts by Peter Nell

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Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, member news

Last week, United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of 25 members to the reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Secretary Perdue appointed CCOF members Jeff Huckaby of Cal-Organic Farms, Brian Kirschenmann of Kirschenmann Farms, and Kelly Carl Ely of FreshPoint to the committee. The appointed members will serve two-year terms on the FVIAC. The committee was originally chartered in 2001 to advise the Secretary of Agriculture on issues affecting the fruit and vegetable industry. Committee members represent organic and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 22, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is moving forward with a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education program.  OTA led efforts over the past couple years to create a national certified organic marketing order under USDA: GRO Organic. The program was initially proposed by OTA in 2015 and USDA released the proposed rule in 2017. Almost 15,000 public comments were received on the proposed rule. However, this spring USDA unexpectedly terminated the rulemaking process of the program before a referendum vote of all organic producers subject to the program was held. ...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, CCOF, NOP, NOSB, policy

CCOF submitted 10 written comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ahead of the fall 2018 NOSB meeting. NOSB is the federal advisory committee to the National Organic program and meets twice per year to discuss organic standards. This fall the meeting will be held on October 24-26, 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota. At the meeting in St. Paul, the board will complete the 2020 Sunset Reviews and NOSB will vote to relist or remove the substances on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List). NOSB will also vote and discuss other items. CCOF submitted the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on general organic, policy

In late September, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 1459 into law. S.B. 1459 allows the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division to immediately create provisional cannabis cultivation licenses as a bridge between temporary and annual cultivation licenses. A provisional license will effectively be the same as an annual license but will not be renewable.  To qualify for a provisional commercial cannabis cultivation license, an applicant must:– Hold or have held a temporary cannabis cultivation license for the same premises and...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 15, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, import and export, policy

Organic seed producers and companies making out-of-state sales may be impacted by the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States on South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The decision allows states to charge sales tax on out-of-state purchases, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state. Some states have begun requiring out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales tax on purchases, while others are setting or have set effective implementation dates.  Each state is implementing different criteria for taxable sales: some require sales tax if the seller...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on financial assistance, general organic, 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 (National List). NOSB reviews all substances on the National...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on education, events, general organic, policy, water

The California State Water Resources Control Board will accept public comments on the proposed updates to the state cannabis water regulations. The State Water Board is proposing updates to the “Cannabis Cultivation Policy – Principles and Guidelines for Cannabis Cultivation,” “Cannabis Cultivation Policy Staff Report,” and the “General Waste Discharge Requirements and Wavier of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges of Waste Associated with Cannabis Cultivation Activities (Cannabis Cultivation General Order).” Written comments will be accepted until 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday,...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on advocacy, pests and pesticides, policy

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) will hold a public hearing and commenting period regarding the designation of chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant. Chlorpyrifos is a prohibited pesticide in organic production.  DPR will accept written comments on chlorpyrifos until 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2018. Comments can be submitted electronically to dpr18002@cdpr.ca.gov or via fax to (916) 324-1491.  DPR will hold a public hearing on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at: California Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters BuildingSierra Hearing Room1001 I...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 8, 2018 on general organic, NOP, policy

In early October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1409 into law. SB 1409 removes 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, increase access to hemp seed, and more.  CCOF joined hemp advocacy groups in support of SB 1409 because it would expand hemp production in California and open the possibility for organic certification of California hemp. The authorized hemp pilot program would align with the National Organic Program (NOP...
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...

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