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Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 18, 2022

 

CCOF Foundation Visionary supporter Driscoll’s recently announced new partners to advance their sustainability goals pertaining to field plastic. Driscoll’s announced the launch of their Agricultural Plastics Innovation Challenge, an initiative that aims to stimulate new recycling processes and the development of alternatives to commonly used field plastics. 

Think Beyond Plastic works to support…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 11, 2022

Prima Wawona has continued its investment in organic with its support of the CCOF Foundation as a Champion-level supporter in 2022. 

Prima Wawona, one of the nation’s leading organic stone fruit producers, has supported our 501(c)(3) charitable arm, the CCOF Foundation, in advancing organic through education and grantmaking. Headquartered in California’s Central Valley, Prima…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, April 11, 2022

CCOF Future Organic Farmers grantee Jason Racine plans to use his formal education to bring into full bloom his goal of creating an inspiring, diverse, community-centered farm. Products will range from annual rotating vegetables and cut flowers to kiwi vines, fruit trees, and even mushrooms! Racine aims to complete his food science and technology degree, with minors in horticulture and entrepreneurship, from Oregon…

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, April 11, 2022

  

As of January 2022, California has begun implementing SB 1383, a new state law that tackles the climate crisis by recycling and composting food and yard waste around the state. Landfills are the third-largest source of methane in California. Organic waste contributes 20 percent of that methane. By composting organic materials like food waste, the state aims to curb climate pollutants and reduce…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, April 11, 2022

Nearly every state in the United States has a cottage food law that allows for the sale of low-risk foods produced in a home kitchen. However, these laws vary widely between states. Differences include types of products that can be made and sold, annual sales limits, and how or where the food can be sold. Join us for a webinar on April 27 that will cover the specifics of the cottage food laws in California and Washington states. Dr. Erin DiCaprio from the University of California, Davis and Dr. Stephanie Smith from Washington State University will review details on cottage food…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, April 4, 2022

A new report issued by the California Department of Public Health’s State Organic Program shows staggering growth in organic product sales between 2020 and 2021, from $14.8 billion to $34.5 billion.

Median annual gross sales also more than doubled, from $170,000 in 2020 to $350,000 in 2021. Analysis of registrants by sales volume reveals that the number of registrants paying the highest fee—700 for businesses with gross sales above $2.5 million—increased from 603 in 2020 to 690 in 2021.

At the same time, the number of organic registrants with the State Organic Program…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, April 4, 2022

CCOF is partnering with Assemblymember Maienschein on California bill AB 2499 to expand access to organic certification. This work builds on our advocacy to incentivize schools to procure organic food. 

Our bill, AB 2499, does the following:

Creates an Organic Transition Program to directly assist socially disadvantaged producers and those with limited resources with transitioning to organic Invests in organic-specific technical assistance, such as financial and farm planning and mentorship by seasoned organic producers Requires a statewide market analysis of the organic…
Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, March 28, 2022

Nelson Hawkins, 2021 Future Organic Farmer recipient, was always fascinated by plants and animals, and a career in agriculture felt like a perfect way to combine those two passions. Having studied sustainable agriculture at UC Davis, Hawkins is currently pursuing additional education from the Center for Land-Based Learning in Sacramento, California. Hawkins is also the founder and farm manager of…

Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 28, 2022

John Fagundes was a carpenter with a small cattle herd living in Northern California. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down major meat processing plants across the United States, and meat cases sat empty in grocery stores, John knew that small ranchers like him and his neighbors could feed their local communities. But for years prior to the pandemic, small producers across California had…

Written by Rebekah Weber on Monday, March 21, 2022
Maria on her farm in Salinas

“I was on the verge of losing my farm.” These words haunted Maria Narez of Narez Organic Vegetables as she navigated the complexities of becoming certified organic. To earn organic certification, farmers cannot apply prohibited synthetic pesticides to the land for three years prior to their first organic harvest. Transitioning farmers must make significant investments to…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 14, 2022

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has released the agenda and meeting materials for its April 26–28, 2022 meeting and will accept written comments on agenda items through April 1.

Signups to provide oral comment during webinars on April 19 and 21 are also open. Visit the USDA’s website to register for an oral comment slot (scroll to the bottom of the page).

The NOSB is a federal advisory board that comprises volunteers from the organic community who advise the National Organic Program and the Secretary of Agriculture on organic production, handling, and processing…

Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, March 14, 2022

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA’s) Farm to School Incubator Grant Program is opening the cafeteria door to more organic producers!

For the first time, schools will be incentivized to buy food from producers who are certified organic or transitioning to organic. Organic producers will be prioritized for grants to cover expenses related to food production, processing, and/or distribution for the school food market, including organic certification costs. Small and midsize farms and disadvantaged producers will also receive prioritization. 

Written by Larissa Hernandez on Monday, March 7, 2022

 

Please join Edgar Mendoza Samaniego of CCOF-certified Sol Seeker Farm and Ann Baier from the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) for a conversation in Spanish on pasture-raised chickens. Mendoza Samaniego dives into his production methods on his farm, as well as details on his operation, and the steps taken to get to where they are now. 

Baier is a sustainable agriculture specialist who has been working in NCAT’s Western Regional Office since 2002. She specializes in organic certification, recordkeeping, and pasture-raised poultry, and works closely with…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 7, 2022

Save the date for a western states webinar, 10–11 a.m. (PST) on March 11, on a revision proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to Subpart E of its Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule that would change the pre-harvest agricultural water requirements for covered produce (other than sprouts).
 
The webinar is co-hosted by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for the western states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 7, 2022

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2022 – This week, the USDA announced supplemental American Rescue Plan Act funding for the Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP). In fiscal year 2022, LAMP will receive a total of $97 million in competitive grant funding to help local and regional food entities develop, coordinate, and expand producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets, and local food enterprises. Of the $97 million, LAMP’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) will receive $57 million, and Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) will receive $40 million.…