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Written by Larissa Hernandez and Laetitia Benador on Monday, February 13, 2023

Relief is in sight for economically distressed organic dairy farmers impacted by a simultaneous storm of climate, global trade, and economic disruptions. The CCOF Foundation partnered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) through their California Underserved and Small Producers (CUSP) program to support organic dairy farmers during this unprecedented crisis.  …

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 13, 2023

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Blong Xiong announced that 41 counties in California are accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages to eligible farmland, fences, and conservation structures or other installations from the recent severe storm. ECP signup will begin on February 13, 2023, and end on April 14, 2023. 

Producers with damage from storm events must apply for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. Producers must complete FSA’s National Environmental Policy Act (…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 13, 2023

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) is an advisory body established by state law to advise the secretary of food and agriculture on state organic regulations and education, outreach, and technical assistance for producers. COPAC is composed of 15 members who represent different sectors of the organic community. 
Currently, there are 7 voting seat vacancies on COPAC:

2 producers  1 wholesale distributor 1 processor  1 environmental representative  1 technical representative  1 consumer representative

In addition, each seat has an alternate to fill…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 6, 2023
CCOF Foundation’s Technical Assistance Specialist Brian Coltrin (middle) with Misael Morales, a farmer in our current Organic Transition program cohort

The CCOF Foundation launched a new cohort of Organic Transition grantees in 2022 with the help of our thoughtful partners. With your support, we were able to fund 12 farmers in the Salinas Valley as they expanded…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 6, 2023

In the wake of the atmospheric river that hit California with a series of intense storms in early January, many people had questions about the status of organically certified ground and about the safety of food grown in flooded fields.

Flooding should not impact the organic certification status of a parcel of land, and flooded parcels will maintain their certification unless it is surrendered, suspended, or revoked. Growers who had their fields flooded will likely not be required to go through the three-year transition after flooding, but certifiers will need to evaluate each farm…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, January 30, 2023

Habrá traducción al Español. 
Vaya al final de la página para ver este anuncio en español.

Join UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) for a weekly lunchtime seminar series. Each week, we’ll be joined by a guest speaker for a 30-minute presentation followed by questions from the listeners and more general discussion. 

When: January 24–March 21, 2023; Tuesdays, 12–1 p.m. Pacific Time

Where: On Zoom:

The Zoom link will be the same each week. No pre-registration is required…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, January 30, 2023
Photo Credit to SF Gate

The Central Coast of California was recently barraged with the highest rainfall it has seen in decades. The deluge has brought flooding, landslides, and loss of life and has destroyed homes and building structures. Notably, there is also ongoing damage to crops and fields. Many berry farmers have experienced an entire loss of crop within the span of a week. Others have…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 30, 2023

An atmospheric river caused widespread flooding and landslides in California at the beginning of 2023, creating an estimated $5–7 billion of damage. Especially hard hit were farms in many rural areas adjacent to rivers that overflowed their banks, flooding fields, homes, and businesses. President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for California, which triggered the release of federal funds to assist people and businesses affected by the damage. 

For useful general advice on documenting and recovering from disasters, refer to this document created by Rural Advancement…

Written by Kim Hatfield on Monday, January 23, 2023

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has released the final Strengthening Organic Enforcement regulations. These changes to the organic regulations will become effective on March 20, 2023, and operations impacted by the rule will need to comply by March 19, 2024. CCOF is carefully reviewing the new regulations and will provide more information on how the changes may affect your business soon. We encourage you to do the same by reviewing the published language on the Federal Register.

Please keep a close eye out for continued announcements via our newsletter and encourage those…

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

There is a unique opportunity to apply for a seat on CCOF’s Certification Services, LLC Management Committee. This is a rare chance to be part of the committee that manages the business and affairs of CCOF Certification Services, LLC.  

The CCOF Board of Directors is looking for applicants who have a significant background in the organic industry (preferably with an understanding of organic certification) and who have experience in business management, including human resources, financials, and program management. The board is particularly interested in applicants with experience…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

CCOF submitted a written comment to the National Organic Program (NOP) on inert ingredients in pesticides. The NOP sought input on how to update the organic regulations, which currently reference outdated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy on inert ingredients in pesticides. Inert ingredients are any substance other than the active ingredient in a pesticide product, including solvents, diluents, stabilizers, and preservatives. An updated NOP standard is important to preserve tools organic farmers rely on and to create a path forward for companies to research and develop softer…

Written by Sarah Reed on Tuesday, January 17, 2023

We are seeking certified organic handlers to take part in a national study by completing a survey by New York University (NYU) and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The survey has several intended benefits for the organic industry, including identification of

barriers to and direction of industry growth; different procurement methods, including contracting, that may reduce handler costs; and supply chain challenges, such as shortages of specific ingredients.

NCAT and NYU also want to hear about challenges pertaining to your business. This nationwide study was…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 9, 2023

With the ongoing drought crisis in California, farmers face increased costs ranging from higher water and energy bills to installing new equipment. This is especially difficult for smaller farms, BIPOC and immigrant farmers, and other socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

These farmers often fall through the cracks of traditional government aid, so the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts (CARCD), with funding from the California Deptartment of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), is stepping in to offer direct financial support to farmers who have…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, January 9, 2023

The California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) will meet during the EcoFarm Conference from 12:30–3:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, 2023, in the Scripps room at the Asilomar Conference Grounds located at 800 Asilomar Avenue in Pacific Grove, California. Attendees do not have to register for EcoFarm to attend.

COPAC is a state advisory committee created by state law to advise the Secretary of Food and Agriculture on education, outreach, and technical assistance for organic producers, processors, and handlers.

Currently, COPAC has a number of open seats,…

Written by Kim Hatfield on Monday, January 9, 2023

Although the final regulations have yet to be released, the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) will soon implement a new rule called Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE). NOP has stated that they will publish the rule in a matter of weeks. Once the rule is published, there will be a one-year implementation timeline before full compliance is required. This rule will increase oversight of organic products throughout the supply chain. When fully implemented, the rule will (1) strengthen organic control systems by requiring previously excluded operations to be certified; (2) improve…