Blog posts by Rachel Witte

Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, November 28, 2016 on CCOF

As the organic movement grows, CCOF follows – we’re looking for passionate, talented individuals to help us support the organic community. From certifying farms and products, to engaging in organic advocacy, to helping the CCOF Foundation make a difference, there are a multitude of ways to get involved with organic at CCOF. Apply for one of our open positions, or spread the word to qualified individuals you know who would be great additions to our team. We are accepting applications for the following positions: Handler Certification Specialist CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) seeks two...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 19, 2016 on CCOF

Back by popular demand, our black trucker-style hats featuring a “Support Organic Farmers” CCOF patch on the front are in stock in the CCOF store! This style has been incredibly popular–so act fast. These hats are black organic cotton twill with a foam front, flat bill, and mesh back. One size fits all. Get one for your favorite farmer or organic supporter today!
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy

This week the California State Legislature sent the fiscal year 2016-17 budget to Governor Jerry Brown without deciding how the state would spend billions in climate change investments. Among the programs waiting for a decision on funding are the Healthy Soils Initiative, the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), the Dairy Methane Program, and the Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program. What gives? The cap-and-trade program was created under California’s climate change law, AB 32. Cap-and-trade limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the biggest polluters in...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, June 20, 2016 on advocacy, policy, State Organic Program

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) is a 15-member committee that advises the California Secretary of Agriculture on California’s State Organic Program’s enforcement activities. The members are made up of six producers (at least one producer of meat, fowl, fish, dairy products, or eggs); two processors; one wholesale distributor; two consumer representatives; one environmental representative; two technical representatives with scientific credentials related to agricultural chemicals, toxicology, or food science; and one retail representative. Each member on the...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, February 22, 2016 on advocacy, biodiversity, NOP, policy

On January 15 of this year, the National Organic Program (NOP) announced the final guidance on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation for Certified Organic Operations. The guidance addresses one of the core principles of organic production: conserving natural resources and biodiversity. The USDA organic regulations require certified producers to maintain or improve natural resources on their farms. This guidance provides certifiers and certified producers with examples of production practices that support conservation principles and also comply with the NOP regulations. It also...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, February 8, 2016 on CCOF

Learn more about CCOF in a video and interview with our Executive Director/CEO Cathy Calfo, created by the Santa Cruz Economic Development Office. The video also features our friend Jeff Larkey at Route 1 Farms and scenes from the bustling Santa Cruz Community Farmers’ Market, where a number of CCOF members represent organic and sell their beautiful produce. Watch the video to find out more about CCOF’s history, role in the Santa Cruz community, and the driving force behind our passion for organic. “CCOF does this work because we really believe that organic is the right way to produce food....
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF


Spread the holiday cheer by giving your favorite farmer or organic enthusiast the newest CCOF gear this season! We just added new hats to the shop to keep the sun out of your eyes in the field. Choose from our black trucker-style hat with a “Support Organic Farmers” patch, or our tan hat with the same slogan embroidered on the cap. Both hats are made in the U.S.A. with organic cotton, so they are gifts you can feel great about giving! If the hats aren't your style, show your support for organic farmers by sewing one of our new “Support Organic Farmers” patches onto your bag, coat, or overalls...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, December 14, 2015 on CCOF

As you gather close to family this time of year, our staff will be doing the same. Please note that the CCOF office will be closed on the following dates: Christmas Eve: Thursday, December 24 Christmas Day: Friday, December 25 New Year’s Day: Friday, January 1 We’ll be sure to get back to your messages and requests right away when we return. Thank you for your support of organic in 2015! Happy holidays!
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, October 5, 2015 on food safety

Are you an organic processor who is looking for food safety certification for your products? Are your buyers requiring a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked food safety certification, or requesting third party audit reports prior to approving a sale? CCOF can help. In addition to CCOF’s food safety services for growers, we are now pleased to give our processor members access to a variety of food safety certifications at a discounted rate through an arrangement with the Food Quality Alliance (FQA). These certifications include: British Retail Consortium (BRC) – GFSI-benchmarked...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, October 5, 2015 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be exhibiting at the PMA Fresh Summit trade show in Atlanta from October 23-25. Come by booth #2410 to talk about organic certification, food safety certification for organic operations, and more. You can also follow along on our Twitter account, where we’ll be tweeting from the show. We hope to see you there!
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, September 21, 2015 on CCOF

Are you a member of the organic food industry, but not certified by CCOF? Do you want to get involved with CCOF at the governance level? Are you a CCOF member who knows someone who may fit this criteria? The CCOF Board of Directors is seeking applications from individuals for appointment to the CCOF Certification Services, LLC Management Committee, which they will review at their November meeting. The LLC Management Committee is appointed by the board and has the responsibility to control and manage the business and affairs of CCOF Certification Services, LLC. The board looks for applicants...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 31, 2015 on CCOF, events

CCOF will be exhibiting at the Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore from September 17-19. Come by booth #1509 to talk about our “Organic is Non-GMO & More” certification seal, organic certification, and more.You can also follow along on our Twitter account, where we’ll be tweeting from the show.We hope to see you there!
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 24, 2015 on food safety

CCOF has joined the Food Quality Alliance (FQA) as its designated provider of organic certification services. The Food Quality Alliance is a consortium of industry-leading providers of food certification, testing, consulting, and educational services, and our participation in the group comes with a host of benefits for our members.Most notably, in addition to CCOF’s food safety services for growers, we are now pleased to give our processor members access to a variety of food safety certifications at a discounted rate through this arrangement with FQA. These certifications include:British...
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, August 24, 2015 on genetic engineering, Non-GMO & More seal

On August 19, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about non-GMO labeling and ecolabel marketing. Our Executive Director/CEO Cathy Calfo was interviewed for the story, and commented on the benefits of certified organic. Read or listen to the full story on the NPR website.CCOF’s “Organic is Non-GMO & More” label mentioned in the article is available for all CCOF-certified organic products! Learn more at www.ccof.org/non-gmo.
Written by Rachel Witte on Monday, July 27, 2015 on events


Corn Field

The 2015 Hoes Down Harvest Festival will take place at Full Belly Farm on Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4 in the agriculturally diverse Capay Valley. The festival is a celebration of the end of the harvest season, where over 5,000 people from across the state come together to experience the joys of an organic family farm, attend educational tours and workshops, and celebrate with an abundance of food and music. Participants can even camp overnight on Saturday at Full Belly Farm!The main festival and activities occur on the first day of the festival on Saturday, October 3. Attendees...

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