advocacy

Take Action for Organic!

Working with the natural landscape at 123 Farm. Photo by Liz Birnbaum at The Curated Feast

We need you to take action for organic. Join the virtual listening session on February 22, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. PST and tell the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) that organic agriculture is regenerative and that the state’s definition of regenerative should start with organic certification.

Alert! Your Voice on Regenerative Agriculture Matters

The State of California is defining regenerative agriculture. So far, state officials have recommended a big-tent definition that includes a broad array of California producers. What is missing from this perspective is how a loose definition of regenerative will impact organic producers. What will it mean for California-approved regenerative products to compete with USDA organic? Especially if the standards are not comparably rigorous?

Bridging the Gap: CCOF Members Advocate for a Guest Worker Program That Serves All

Organic farmers face a unique set of challenges, many of which revolve around the critical issue of labor. As I delved into the CCOF Labor Survey, a common theme emerged—a call for a guest worker program that supports the needs of both farmers and farmworkers. CCOF members vocalized the need for a guest worker program that is accessible, especially for small-scale farmers, and that supports the livelihoods of farmworkers. 

Lessons From the Field: What I Learned From Surveying Organic Producers

Organic Transition Grantee Alejandro Salazar installs an irrigation pipe by hand with his daughter, Fatima Salazar.

Labor is one of the challenges we hear the most about. Organic producers make a commitment to grow and raise food using ecological methods, and one of the trade-offs is that organic farms have higher labor demands to maintain such practices. To dive deeper into the challenges organic producers are facing, I’ve surveyed organic producers across crop type, scale, and geography. 

We Need Your Help To Tell the State That Organic IS Sustainable Pest Management

The Department of Pesticide Regulation is hosting a series of public meetings to hear feedback on their strategic plan. This plan will set their agenda for the next five years, and organic is not mentioned at all. In fact, the Department intends to create new certifications for sustainable pest management—making farmers jump through more hoops. Please consider joining a public meeting and telling the Department that organic certification is the sustainable pest management certification.

California Senate Agriculture Committee Passes AB 408 To Fund Resilient Agriculture and Healthy Food Access

California Assembly Bill 408—the Climate-Resilient Farms, Sustainable Healthy Food Access, and Farmworker Protection Bond Act of 2024—was passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee on July 3, 2023. The bill, which is authored by Assemblymember Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) and Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael), proposes a $3.4 billion bond to fund programs that support resilient agriculture and healthy food access in California.

The bond would be used to fund projects in four areas:

How CCOF Nourishes

A good meal is transformative. The light crunch of a fried latke smothered in tangy applesauce roots me in my cultural inheritance and branches me outward. Preparing this salty–sweet comfort food, I get to know local growers at the farmers’ market and appreciate each season’s bounty. My organic potatoes and apples regenerate soil and water health and safeguard against harmful pesticides. Good food grounds us in our bodies and connects us to the people and world around us.

Secretary Ross Announces First Historically Underserved and Small Farm Advisory Committees To Advise on Equity and Inclusion

Applications for Committee Membership Are Currently Available

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CDFA Secretary Karen Ross has announced the Department’s first historically underserved and small farm advisory committees to support equity and inclusion throughout the organization’s programs, policies, and services. Application periods for both committees are open through June 30, 2023. 

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