Organic Farmers Host California Organic Products Advisory Committee and Legislative and Agency Staff on Organic Farm Tours

(September 6, 2018) Fresno, CA — Members of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee (COPAC) and CCOF—the nation’s leader in advancing organic agriculture—hosted an organic farm tour for the offices of state and federal elected officials and California state agencies on September 4, 2018.
 
The tour was held the day before the COPAC meeting in Fresno, California. COPAC is comprised of 15 members and 15 alternates representing organic producers, wholesalers, technical representatives, environmental representatives, processors, consumers, retailers, and accredited organic certifiers. The committee advises the California Secretary of Agriculture on organic agriculture issues and the California State Organic Program (SOP).
 
Attendees learned about the challenges and opportunities of growing organic in California’s Central Valley. California leads the nation in organic sales with $14.55 billion in organic processed product and agricultural commodity sales, yet only 3.5 percent of the state’s agricultural land is farmed organically.
 
The tour began in Madera, California with visits to two certified organic farms: Food Commons Fresno and Braga Organic Farms. At midday, the tour visited California State University, Fresno to learn about their certified organic farm, hands-on student learning, and organic research. The final farm stop lay along the banks of the Kings River at Blossom Bluff Orchards, a stone fruit orchard.  
 
The tour highlighted the diversified organic farming occurring in the San Joaquin Valley. Each stop on the tour visited an organic farm producing different types of crops: from leafy greens and vegetables to nuts and fruit. Attendees heard from farmers about a range of issues and how state policies can help grow organic in California’s Central Valley.  
 
About CCOF
CCOF advances organic agriculture for a healthy world. We advocate on behalf of our members for organic policies, support the growth of organic through education and grants, and provide organic certification that is personal and accessible.
 
CCOF is a nonprofit organization governed by the people who grow and make our food. Founded in California more than 40 years ago, today our roots span the breadth of North America and our presence is internationally recognized. We are supported by an organic family of farmers, ranchers, processors, retailers, consumers, and policymakers. Together, we work to realize a future where organic is the norm.
 
For more information about CCOF, visit www.ccof.org.
 
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Author: 
Peter Nell, CCOF Policy Specialist
Author contact information: 

CCOF
2155 Delaware Ave., Suite 150
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
pnell@ccof.org