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Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Clif Bar Family Foundation, a longtime Champion-level supporter of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer program, is no stranger to organic advocacy. Those familiar with Clif Bar know of its many investments in the future of the industry. From launching the University of California’s first-ever organic research institute at UC Davis to supporting first responders amid the tragic wildfire seasons of recent years, Clif Bar is far beyond an average food company. One could argue that they are setting the standard for corporate philanthropy, using business as a medium for changing our…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Tuesday, June 1, 2021
yemenis of the san qoaquin

Like many in the CCOF-certified farming community, Sunview Vineyards is a multigenerational, family-run operation. As a longtime supporter of the CCOF Foundation, Sunview is committed to reinvesting resources into future organic producers. Sunview’s founder, Marko Zaninovich, emigrated from Yugoslavia to the United States and began Sunview Vineyards. Over the years, many of Sunview’s farm professionals have come from Mexico, but a small portion came from Yemen, fleeing political turmoil in their homeland.

Nearly a decade ago, PBS aired a mini-documentary called The Last Harvest:…

Written by Laetitia Benador on Monday, May 24, 2021
Organic For Everyone
Eating organic food should not be a privilege; organic is for everyone.

Yet today, widespread economic inequality prevents many families from accessing organic. Income inequality is at its highest in California’s history, with a pay disparity almost double today what it was in 1980.

At the same time that communities struggle to afford food, California’s farmers struggle to stay in business. Farmers today receive only 18 cents for every dollar that consumers spend on food, compared to 40 years ago when farmers received 40 cents for each dollar spent. A majority of California’s…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 24, 2021

In 2020, the CCOF Foundation was one of the first nonprofits to receive a grant from Seth Goldman’s new snack company, Eat the Change. Eat the Change Impact (ETC Impact) is the charitable arm of the company. The CCOF Foundation was chosen as a grant recipient because of our research project, the Roadmap to an Organic California, which laid out the scientific benefits of organic agriculture and opportunities for California to implement organic to address our community, economic, and environmental health needs. The CCOF Foundation was grateful to join the other ETC Impact grantees to move…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 24, 2021

If you were to ask most farmers why they got into the business of agriculture, few would tell you it’s because they wanted to use cellphones, video cameras, and social media to promote the sale of their organic produce. But times are changing rapidly, and as the next generation of organic farmers and producers begin to take the reins from many retiring farmers, so shift the tools used to tell the story the origins of our food.  

CCOF Foundation Champion supporter and longtime organic industry leader Lundberg Family Farms educates their consumers from the farmers’ market to the…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 17, 2021

Assisting Organic Producers in Need Since 2007

If you or an organic producer you know has experienced hardship during the 2021 calendar year, we encourage you to apply for financial assistance through the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund. The application deadline is midnight on May 28, 2021.

Throughout the nation, farmers are experiencing severe economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather patterns, an increase in the duration and number of natural disasters, and financial challenges. Now more than ever, organic producers need access to…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 17, 2021
Lehia Apana

If you’ve been following the CCOF blog, you’re likely aware of Lehia Apana, co-founder of Polipoli Farms in Waiehu, Maui. Polipoli Farms describes itself as “tucked away in the Waiehu foothills,” and is located “on the same ʻāina mōmona [fertile land] that fed generations of Native Hawaiians.” Says Apana, “As a Hawaiian-run farm, we blend indigenous and modern growing practices.”

Lehia Apana is a multiyear recipient of the CCOF Foundation’s Future Organic Farmer grant. Receiving financial support from CCOF was but one piece of the puzzle in launching Polipoli Farms. Apana…

Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, May 17, 2021

GLOBALG.A.P.’s Produce Handling Assurance (PHA) standard has successfully achieved recognition against the Global Food Safety Initiative’s Benchmarking Requirements, Version 2020.1. Congratulations to the GLOBALG.A.P. team for their hard work and effort developing a packinghouse food safety standard that provides choice in the marketplace.  

The PHA certification program is available to on-farm and stand-alone post-harvest handling facilities around the world. It provides food safety management certification of post-harvest activities, such as cooling, packing, repacking,…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 17, 2021

For the last 15 years, Santiago Contreras has been a vegetarian—conscious of healthy eating and healthy food. After many years working in the restaurant industry, he made the leap to learn to become a farmer by enrolling in the Farmer Education Course (PEPA) at the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA) to develop his knowledge and skills to work the land. After a year of classroom learning and hand-on training, Contreras is now a full-time farmer cultivating many different vegetables, such as squash, beans, tomatoes, onions, and melons, on five rented acres in Hollister.…

Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, May 10, 2021

Longtime CCOF Foundation Visionary-level donor Driscoll’s is headquartered in Watsonville, California. Driscoll’s employs farm professionals from all over the world. Those based in Watsonville, like Zenaida and Hector, spend their days growing berries.

Zenaida and Hector tell their story through Driscoll’s YouTube channel, where they share a typical day in the field. Motivated by economic opportunity for their children and Zenaida’s parents, who reside in Mexico, Zenaida discusses the duality of her career. She also describes the calm, peace, and sense of working in harmony with…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 10, 2021

Last week the California LGMA Board endorsed new Pre-Harvest Testing guidance in an effort to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with leafy greens. The guidance calls for pre-harvest testing of leafy greens products when risk assessments deem it necessary, specifically when grown in proximity to animals.

Farmers Acting Quickly to Protect Public Health

“We are endorsing pre-harvest testing in direct response to FDA’s recent report on E. coli outbreaks associated with lettuce in 2020, which identified the recurring E. coli strain implicated in this outbreak to be a…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 10, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which offers funding to producers who have been impacted by market disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFAP 2 is now open for applications. A deadline has not yet been announced, but farmers and ranchers are encouraged to apply as soon as possible while funding is still available.

Many commodity categories are eligible for CFAP funding, including broilers and eggs, livestock, row crops, and numerous specialty crops. Review the list of eligible and ineligible commodities…

Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 3, 2021

Join the CCOF Foundation and EcoFarm on May 18 for a webinar that dives into the details of the organic labeling requirements for organic meat producers, including marketing strategies for organic livestock producers who don’t have access to certified organic slaughter facilities. Expect to learn about marketing tips from successful organic meat producers, organic labeling requirements from organic certification experts, and state-wide efforts in California to address the lack of certified organic slaughter facilities.

Organic regulations and labeling requirements are intended…

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, May 3, 2021

Longtime farmer advocate and state administrator with deep roots in the organic community Jenny Lester Moffitt has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

Moffitt has served the agricultural community in California for the past seven years as undersecretary and deputy secretary in the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of her numerous accomplishments as undersecretary was ensuring that CDFA’s annual Agricultural Statistics Review includes data on organic…

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 3, 2021
Lynn Batten

Meet 2020 Future Organic Farmers Grant Recipient Lynn Batten!

Hawaii is a state with a biodiverse ecosystem and a strong heritage of caring for and connecting to the earth. Lynn Batten, a Native Hawaiian, seeks to continue this care by combining her passion for the community with stewardship of the land to help further the goal of creating a more responsible, sustainable, and people-oriented food system.

Batten is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree in political science and sustainable community food systems at the University of West O’ahu. A combination of her…