CCOF Blog

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 16, 2018 on advocacy, general organic, NOP, policy

Last week the House Agriculture Committee released their first draft of the 2018 Farm Bill. Agriculture policy wonks across the country are reviewing the text and preparing for next steps.    CCOF is pleased to see most of its top priorities included in the House draft:   — Increased funding authorized for the National Organic Program (NOP), accompanied by language that directs USDA to modernize NOP’s international trade tracking and data collection systems   — Continued funding at $5 million for the Organic Production and Marketing Initiative   — Increased funding from $20 million to $30...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 16, 2018 on advocacy, policy, water

The Community Water Center (CWC)/El Centro Comunitario por el Agua just released a new report: "Untapped Opportunity: Local Water Boards and the Fight for Water Justice."   The report found that in the southern San Joaquin Valley, fully 87 percent of local water board seats were uncontested in the most recent election—that’s almost 500 local seats. When only one candidate runs for a seat, the seat does not appear on a ballot, and the election does not take place. In Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare counties, 75 of 109 local water boards studied have not held a single election in the last four...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, April 16, 2018 on events, food safety, general organic

GLOBALG.A.P. is pleased to announce the publication of the Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS) v1.1. The HPSS offers a food safety and farm assurance solution for the unique needs of the North American marketplace. HPSS is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and accepted by many of the largest retailers in North America and beyond.     HPSS also aligns with the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The GLOBALG.A.P. HPSS includes verbatim the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative's Harmonized Standards. The Initiative's...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 16, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


Janice Fama ran a farm for seven years on remediated soil, where she grew and sold organic fruit, vegetables, annuals, perennials, and organic eggs. Fama wants to pursue a career in organic agriculture because she believes restoring the valuable microenvironment of the soil is one of the most important challenges of our time. She believes that revitalizing and restoring our farmland is crucial to continue to feed people globally. The more Fama learns about organic sustainable practices, the more she feels the need to teach people of all walks of life how to grow their own food. Fama plans to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on general organic

In an unprecedented move, the nation's first 100 percent certified organic fast food chain shakes up the industry with unrivaled ingredient transparency.   Fast food restaurant chain The Organic Coup, the nation’s first 100 percent certified organic chain, is once again upending the industry.    On April 9, the company will begin rolling out complete ingredient labels that will be placed directly on their food packaging. While many restaurants across the nation refuse to provide ingredient information—citing proprietary reasons—The Organic Coup is making the unprecedented move to spearhead...
Written by Jacob Guth on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on events, food safety, general organic


Join us at the CCOF headquarters in Santa Cruz to hear from the technical experts at GLOBALG.A.P. about how their newly updated Harmonized Produce Safety Standard (HPSS) v1.1 helps producers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).    The May 2-4, 2018 GLOBALG.A.P. Capacity Building & Farm Assurer Workshop will consist of two days of classroom learning and one day of practical, on-farm inspection experience with the new HPSS v1.1 standard. The HPSS offers a food safety and farm assurance solution for the unique needs of the North American marketplace. HPSS is recognized by...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


My interest in organic agriculture comes from a very personal place in my life. I grew up in a rural farming village in Nepal where my family practiced subsistence farming. As a kid, I watched my mother struggle constantly with the challenges of producing enough food to feed our family. Since then, I have come to understand the inherent link between environmental degradation and the cycle of poverty and how they affect the lives of women like my mother. As I dove deeper into this concept, it became clear to me that a more holistic approach to agriculture is a necessity rather than a luxury....
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 Jane Sooby on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 on advocacy, policy

A group of certified organic farmers and CCOF staff met with United States Representative David Valadao when he was in Hanford during the Congressional spring recess.    President of CCOF’s Fresno-Tulare chapter Dwayne Cardoza joined with fellow organic growers Ted Loewen, Jim Parsons, and Steve Beck to talk with Valadao about how the Organic Certification Cost Share Program is important, particularly for newly transitioned organic farmers and small- to mid-scale farmers in California who must pay state registration fees as well as organic certification fees. The need for organic data...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, April 9, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund - Vocational & Higher Ed, future organic farmers


A plant and animal lover by nature, Renee Zavas grew up in Northern California surrounded by animals. Her interaction with animal during her upbringing ranged from raising pigs for 4-H, to helping her dad with their emus and horses.    Zavas moved to Santa Cruz to attend college and was lucky enough to enroll in Cabrillo College’s associate degree program for horticulture, where her passion for plants grew and she began to have a better understanding of the importance of organic farming techniques and the need for education on food justice and sovereignty.   Today, Zavas is finishing her...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 2, 2018 on education, funding, general organic

Applications for the Healthy Soils Program in both the Incentives and Demonstration program areas are due on April 13, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. PDT. Late submissions will not be accepted.   The Healthy Soils Incentives Program provides financial incentives to California farmers and ranchers to implement agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs), and improve soil health. Incentive grants are funded for up to $50,000 per grant.   Healthy Soils Demonstration Projects are on-farm demonstration projects that showcase conservation management...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers

Clif Bar Family Foundation gives to the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund because we believe that organic agriculture is an answer to many issues to which our world currently needs solutions. It supports family farms and contributes to a more secure food future. It reduces harmful chemicals from our everyday lives and protects farmworkers from exposure to those chemicals. It supports better soil health, increases access to healthy food, and increases the carbon sequestering needed to mitigate climate change.    The average working farmer in the United States is nearing retirement age. It’s...
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,...

Pages