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Practices, Not Paperwork Initiative

In the last six months CCOF has been in an ongoing dialogue with the National Organic Program (NOP) and USDA about issues we see in the certification and accreditation process that are overly reliant on paperwork and unnecessarily drive up costs. We are concerned that small operators may be leaving the NOP due to both the difficult paperwork and costs of organic certification.

Program Manual Updates

CCOF has recently revised important sections of the CCOF Certification Program Manual. These changes include the following:

The Future of Chlorine

The National Organic Program (NOP) recently announced an important clarification to the use of chlorine in organic production systems. This may require operational changes for some CCOF clients who use chlorine for postharvest washing of crops. The NOP now requires that a potable water rinse follows chlorine used in postharvest water at more than 4 parts per million (ppm). CCOF was previously able to approve the use of chlorine at levels above 4 ppm in postharvest usage because of industry confusion over the meaning of the word "residual" in the regulations.

CCOF Applauds USDA Announcement of Organic Equivalence Agreement with Japan

(September 25, 2013) Santa Cruz, CA - USDA and Japan announced Thursday at Natural Products Expo East a new organic equivalency agreement, finalizing many years of perseverance toward equivalence without critical variances. As of January 1, 2014, the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries will recognize the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to Japanese Agricultural Standards (JAS). CCOF engaged early in the agreement process, representing our more than 2,600 members by hosting visits with Japanese officials here in the United States.

Animals Need Access to Soil, Not Concrete

CCOF believes that organic livestock standards should require humane and ethical treatment of animals during all stages of production, including transport and slaughter. CCOF, consistent with our mission and principles, has long advocated for NOP standards that ensure outdoor and soil access.

In December 2011, the NOSB unanimously passed a recommendation on Animal Welfare and Stocking Rates that capped off several years of work on these subjects. The NOSB recommendations were consistent with CCOF and other organizations’ recommendations.

CCOF Comments on Organic Standards

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet October 28-30 in Louisville, Kentucky to review organic standards and to determine what recommendations it will make to the National Organic Program (NOP) for future rulemaking.

CCOF Focused on Moving Organic Forward

In recent weeks we at CCOF have observed a variety of activities and discussions about organic certification and organic standards.

CCOF Monitors Compost Ruling

Last month, a court ruling invalidated a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) guidance regarding the allowance of green waste in organic systems (NOP 5016). The ruling was based on a determination that USDA violated administrative procedures when issuing the guidance.

CCOF to Attend NOSB Meeting in Stowe, VT, Submits Public Comments in Preparation

The fall 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held October 26-29 in Stowe, Vermont. This biannual meeting impacts what materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP).

CCOF Weighs in on Compost Lawsuit

CCOF and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) recently submitted statements representing the interests of organic producers in a federal lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which challenges the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) guidance on the Allowance of Green Waste in Organic Production Systems.

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