CCOF Blog

Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will vote on the re-listing or removal of 43 substances on the National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) at their meeting in Jacksonville, Florida on October 31 – November 2, 2017.    Members of the public are encouraged to submit public comments via https://www.regulations.gov/ using docket number AMS-NOP-17-0024-0001 until October 11, 2017. Additionally, oral comments will be accepted in-person and through a pre-meeting webinar.   NOSB reviews all substances on the National List every five years to determine their status...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 11, 2017 on general organic, grower, handler, regulatory

FDA released an informational guide to assist businesses in complying with the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). The guide, “Standards for Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: What you Need to Know about the FDA Regulation: Guidance for Industry Small Entity Compliance Guide,” explains FSMA and its rules.    CCOF highly encourages members falling into the small entity category, as defined in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act, to reference the comprehensive guide for questions regarding FSMA requirements.   Chapter...
Written by Cassandra Christine on Monday, September 11, 2017 on business services, directory, marketing

As expected, advertising opportunities for 2018 have been claimed quickly!   We still have ad space left in the 2018 Organic Directory & Resource Guide. Do not miss out on the opportunity to get your information in this highly sought-after publication!   The Organic Directory and Resource Guide reaches all our certified members and Business Partners along with retail buyers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and consumers who seek us out at tradeshows and events to pick up their copies and tell us how beneficial it is to their business. We will distribute 5,000 copies in 2018.   Ad rates will...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 11, 2017 on education, events, general organic, grower, handler


December 13 & 14 - Hyatt Regency MontereyWestern Growers Named Technology Sponsor for the Event With only a few exhibitor booths left, The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) has announced Western Growers will serve as the Ag Technology sponsor for this year’s inaugural event. As the Ag Technology sponsor, Western Growers will help coordinate the attendance of technology companies as exhibitors, and help facilitate elements of the technology area at the event.  To date, OGS has secured over 50 sponsoring companies, with limited exhibitor booths remaining on the trade show floor. Educational...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 11, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


For Pascal Brooks, the weekends with his father were often spent in the fields. Brooks’ father became a sort of pioneer in Oregon wine after starting his own small winery with specific biodynamic practices applied to the grapes. Brooks helped his father as a child, though he did not appreciate the business and ethos until later. Brooks’ father passed away suddenly when Brooks was eight and left him his business. His aunt and friends took over and pursued the same sustainable practices his father wished to apply. Since then, Brooks has spent his summers among his friends, trying to work and...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, September 4, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Emilio Otontiopa was born on a ranch in Hildago, Mexico and began farming at age 11 growing beans, corn, cilantro, and squash. He immigrated to the United States when he was 19, and did irrigation for large farms. He went on to be an artichoke harvester, which was very hard work. Otontiopa wants to grow crops for people in his area so there is organic local food and fresh vegetables. He wants people to know where their produce comes from and how it is being grown, which is of great benefit to him and his people. Otontiopa would also like to teach his children how to grow food organically....
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 28, 2017 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The state of California shared their 2018 Farm Bill recommendations with congressional leaders in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The letter was signed by the heads of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), the California Natural Resource Agency, and the California Health and Human Services Agency.    California’s recommendations cover funding food and nutrition programs, protecting and enhancing conservation programs, safeguarding marketing and trade programs, strengthening animal and plant health...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, August 28, 2017 on education, events, general organic

The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) and California Climate Action Network (CalCAN) are hosting a fully funded four-day policy advocacy training for women farmers and ranchers. The training, Forces of Natures: Advocacy Skills Training for Women Farmers and Ranchers, will be held at OAEC in Sonoma, California, on November 9-12, 2017.   The training will boost advocacy skills for women passionate about regenerative ranching and farming, enhance strategic thinking, and provide an environment ripe for networking and mentoring. The training schedule is available online.   Registration...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 28, 2017 on advocacy, CCOF, general organic

Para asegurar que todos los miembros certificados por CCOF estén representados a nivel de la junta directiva, los miembros deben aprobar cambios en los estatutos de CCOF que permitirán a la junta establecer nuevas organizaciones locales. Este otoño, todos los miembros certificados tendrán la oportunidad de votar para enmendar los estatutos de CCOF como corresponde. En Septiembre, los miembros recibirán papeletas y materiales y tendrán 30 días para responder. Se requiere un quórum del 10 por ciento para promulgar estas revisiones a los estatutos.   Acerca de las enmiendas   Las enmiendas a los...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 28, 2017 on events, general organic

Tickets are now on sale for the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Leadership Awards Celebration dinner. The Wednesday, September 13, celebration is the kick-off event to Natural Products Expo East. Join us to recognize three pioneers receiving the 2017 Organic Leadership Awards. Re-connect with friends and colleagues at the annual membership meeting, enjoy a delicious organic meal served family-style, and relax and network in our dessert lounge.    This year’s event will take place at the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. Register now for early bird tickets and check out the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 28, 2017 on education, general organic, handler

A new research study, The Relationship between Handlers and Farmers in the Organic Sector, supported by Professor Carolyn Dimitri of New York University, requests input from certified organic handlers nationwide.   This study has several intended benefits for the organic sector, including the identification of: (1) the technical and economic assistance companies provide to organic growers; (2) the extent to which organic handlers encourage domestic organic production; and (3) the opportunities to increase awareness of how the private sector supports organic farming.   The survey takes...
Written by Josaphine Stevenson on Monday, August 28, 2017 on CCOF Foundation, FOFGF Vocational & Higher Ed, Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund, future organic farmers


Deseree Fontenot is a scholar, activist and budding farmer rooted in Oakland, California by way of Eunice, Louisiana. She is currently an apprentice at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ ecological horticulture program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Fontenot holds an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in social transformation from Pacific School of Religion, where she focused on ecological technologies, African-diasporic spiritual traditions, and geographic histories of food and land-based movements. She is passionate about transforming relationships...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 21, 2017 on advocacy, policy, regulatory

California’s new cannabis regulations are being crafted by numerous state agencies. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has issued two documents for review, the Cannabis Cultivation Policy and the General Order. Comments on each document are due Sept. 6, 2017, by noon Pacific time.   The Water Board has also posted a Staff Report that provides the rationale for the draft policies. The Water Board will also accept public comments on this report.   The State Water Board is scheduled to hold two public hearings on October 17, 2017, in Sacramento, to receive oral comments...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 21, 2017 on education, events, general organic, grower, handler

The Organic Grower Summit (OGS) has announced Western Growers will serve as the Ag Technology sponsor for this year’s inaugural event. As the Ag Technology sponsor, Western Growers will help coordinate the attendance of technology companies as exhibitors, and help facilitate elements of the technology area at the event.   The first ever OGS, a joint production between California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and Organic Produce Network (OPN), will bring together organic growers, producers and processors for two days of education, information and networking opportunities with organic...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, August 21, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee is now accepting nominations to fill 10 seats. The Committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on programs and services that USDA provides to the produce sector.   The Committee has a total of 25 members who represent the fruit and vegetable industry in the following capacities: Growers/Producers Wholesalers/ Distributors Importers/Exporters Processors Farmers Market Managers Food Hubs Association leaders Retail/Restaurant Food Service suppliers State departments of agriculture   USDA seeks to...

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