From Field to Forum

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 20, 2015 on CalCAN, policy

CalCAN is excited to announce our leadership in a newly introduced state bill called the Agriculture Climate Benefits Act, or Senate Bill 367. The bill was introduced by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Yolo County), and is co-sponsored by CalCAN and our coalition partner, the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). SB 367 promotes ‘climate-friendly’ agricultural practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon. It creates a new statewide competitive grant program, to be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, that would receive $50 million in cap-and-...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, April 20, 2015 on genetic engineering, Non-GMO & More seal

Organic is always non-GMO–and so much more. Our certified members are held to a high standard of keeping their products GMO-free. CCOF conducts yearly inspections to ensure organic integrity and integrates GMO testing in addition to pesticide residue testing efforts. GMOs are strictly prohibited by the national organic standards, plus organic agriculture provides a long list of other benefits for healthy people and a healthy planet. Studies show that organically-grown food has higher amounts of Vitamin C, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron–all vital nutrients for healthy functioning bodies. In...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 20, 2015 on NOSB, policy

The spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 27-30 in La Jolla, California. All CCOF members are encouraged to attend! This biannual meeting impacts what materials are allowed for use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). NOSB will review a diverse set of materials at the meeting such as from sulfur and copper materials used in crop production, aspirin and iodine used in livestock production, and flavor and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 13, 2015 on CalCAN, events, policy

The 4th Climate & Agriculture Summit at UC Davis was, by all accounts, CalCAN’s most successful Summit yet. The daylong gathering on March 25 brought together 320 participants, including 65 farmers and ranchers from across California. Our 60+ speakers, panelists, moderators and poster presenters were uniformly excellent, demonstrating the amazing diversity and expertise of CalCAN’s partners and friends. Overall, the 4th CalCAN Summit was a testament to how far we have collectively come in our work to unleash agricultural solutions to climate change—and an important reminder of the...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, April 6, 2015 on CCOF Foundation

The CCOF Foundation is excited to unveil new and improved webpages within the ccof.org site. Visit us and check out the in-depth description of our four programs (Future Farmer Grant Fund, Organic Training Institute, Consumer Education, and Bricmont Hardship Assistance). Visit the Organic Training Institute events page where you can register for upcoming field days, workshops, and webinars. Our Bricmont page has information about our 2015 hardship assistance program and our consumer education page has information about our consumer education cards. In particular we would like to highlight our...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on policy

UC Berkeley researchers need farmers for a study on diversified farming systems in California’s Central Coast. The project will look at how agricultural practices on organic farms affect the diversity of life found on those farms, with an emphasis on birds and pollinators. The study needs farmer participants who grow organic strawberries on two acres or more of land in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Prunedale and Salinas. Benefits of cooperating on the project include:  Access to research results about your own farm and all participating farms collectively (with complete anonymity) that can inform...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 30, 2015 on NOSB, policy

The April 7, 2015 deadline to submit comments to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is fast approaching! At the end of April, the NOSB will meet in La Jolla, California to review organic materials and standards. During this meeting they will review a substantial amount of materials, including copper and sulfur products for use in crop production, and gums and pectin for processing. Your operation may be affected! There are two simple things you can do to help protect the integrity of organic standards: 1) Complete OTA’s Online Surveys CCOF is working closely with the Organic Trade...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on genetic engineering, policy

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is soliciting comments on a set of proposed activities to reduce the impacts of the unintended presence of genetically modified (GM) genes in organic and other non-GM crops. One of the activities is the federal organic farmer survey currently circulating, which is gathering information on economic losses experienced by organic farmers due to the presence of GM material in their crops. The timeline for comment is quite short; they are due April 10, 2015. To submit a comment, visit regulations.gov and click on the “Comment Now!” button. The proposed...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 30, 2015 on certification process, policy

Certification cost share is a program that reimburses organic operations 75% of eligible certification-related costs up to a maximum of $750 per certified scope. Certification cost share is now open in the state of California and will be in other states soon. CCOF is preparing helpful instruction documents and tools to help you navigate the cost share forms. Look for them by May 1! Certification cost share helps keep organic certification accessible for all, from the smallest to largest organic operations. Cost share distributes federal funds through state departments of agriculture. Click...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, March 30, 2015 on education, genetic engineering, Non-GMO & More seal

As the nation’s leading organic certifier, CCOF has been at the leading edge of organic initiatives and programmatic innovation. In that spirit of innovation, we’re working behind the scenes to ensure organic grows and thrives in the food industry. So far, 2015 has been an extremely busy and productive year for us. This year we have already seen the second installment of the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund to support the next generation of organic farmers. We held a wildly successful Policy Day where certified members were able to sit across from elected officials and inform them of organic...
Written by Jessy Beckett on Monday, March 30, 2015 on CCOF Foundation, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, grants

The CCOF Foundation is excited to re-open applications for the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund in 2015. Partnering again with the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the National FFA (Future Farmers of America), as well as hosting our own granting process, the Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund will be doubling our grants this year, giving away a total of $100,000 in 2015! Twenty $2,500 grants will go to support people looking to attend programs in higher and vocational education programs focusing on organic agriculture. We are excited to support more people in their...
Written by Tami Weiss on Monday, March 23, 2015 on CCOF, events, genetic engineering


Over 2,700 companies exhibited at this year’s Natural Products Expo West. CCOF-certified members were well represented. For instance, on the main floor you could start the morning off with some tea from Traditional Medicinals, wander over to the Lundberg booth for rice cakes, stop at Straus for some cheese to put on that rice cake, wash everything down with a new yerba mate drink from Guayaki, and finish up with one of the new flavors of Three Twins ice cream. Those were just the companies close to the CCOF booth! Happy Family, 18 Rabbits, Valley Fig Growers, Hilary’s Eat Well, Otis...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, March 16, 2015 on NOP, NOSB, policy, regulatory

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced its draft agenda for the spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting to be held in La Jolla, California at the end of April. That means it’s that time of year again! Time for you to share your story and help determine the path of organic agriculture. Prior to the meeting, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites the public to comment on what should be included and excluded in the organic standards. The NOSB—a committee of certified organic farmers, processors, and other...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, March 9, 2015 on CalCAN, events

The 4th California Climate & Agriculture Summit On March 24 & 25, the 4th California Climate & Agriculture Summit will take place in Davis, CA. The Summit is organized by California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), a coalition of the state’s leading sustainable agriculture organizations and farmer allies that came together out of climate change concerns. They mainly focus on climate change impacts on California agriculture and methods to advance sustainable agricultural solutions to a changing climate. At the Summit, you will learn the latest science, policy, and...
Written by Laura McKissack on Monday, March 2, 2015 on CCOF, employment

CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) is seeking various certification staff to work in the Santa Cruz, California office. The people in these positions will work within CCOF’s rapidly expanding USDA National Organic Program and internationally accredited organic certification program. CCOF is one of the oldest and largest organic certification organizations in the U.S. and works to promote organic production through certification, education, and outreach programs. Our staff enjoys many benefits that make CCOF an excellent place to work. Our dog friendly office, proximity to the Pacific...

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