California Organic Group Charges Forward

Cathy-CalfoEditor’s Note: Cathy Calfo is the executive director and CEO of CCOF, which was founded in 1973 as California Certified Organic Farmers, and is now North America’s largest organic certifier. CCOF provides organic certification services, advocates on behalf of its 2,600 certified members, and provides education and financial assistance to support organic farming and production methods. CCOF is a non-profit member-led organization.

In late 2013, CCOF Certification Services launched its GLOBALG.A.P. farm-level food safety certification, a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) benchmarked program. The program’s goal is to provide cost-effective services that support organic farmers’ success in gaining the food safety certification required by many buyers and retailers.

Multiple food safety certification program levels are available including Integrated Farm Assurance, Produce Safety Standard, Harmonized Standard (U.S. only), localg.a.p., and additional verifications that may be required by specific buyers. The CCOF GLOBALG.A.P. Program Manual includes more information regarding program eligibility, and is available at ccof.org/certification/food-safety-certification.

In addition to this certification program, CCOF is focused on several other priorities:

  • Commenting on Proposed Federal Food Safety Regulations — In other food safety-related news, CCOF members continue to weigh in on federal Food Safety Modernization Act regulations that have been proposed by FDA. In response to strong urging by CCOF and its members and partners, FDA extended the current comment period on the Produce Safety Rule (which establishes standards for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding produce on farms) and Preventative Controls for Human Food Rule (which applies to food processors). It will also be reissuing some components of the rules. Comments can be submitted at
    www.regulations.gov.
  • Simplifying the Organic Certification Process: Less Paper, Less Hassle — Last year, CCOF helped simplify the organic certification process for its certified members by providing online access to Organic System Plans and certification-related records. This year, CCOF is adding two new revolutionary online services. First, a list of all materials approved by either CCOF, Organic Materials Review Institute, or Washington State Department of Agriculture will be available Feb. 1 via MyCCOF, CCOF’s online certification management tool. Second, members will be able to track suppliers’ CCOF certifications, download certificates, and receive immediate emails regarding any change of status in a supplier’s organic certification.
  • Supporting the Success of Organic Farmers: the CCOF Foundation — During 2014, the CCOF Foundation is partnering with organizations including the UNFI Foundation and Driscoll’s to support those who aspire to lead careers in organic agriculture through the Future Organic Farmers Grant Fund. The fund will provide individual grants to qualified applicants, targeting high school youth, students pursuing vocational and higher education, and disadvantaged communities. The foundation will also provide hardship assistance to organic producers who have suffered losses due to extreme hardships such as fire or natural disasters; continue its Organic Training Institute which provides a series of low-cost field days, workshops, and webinars covering topics such as small farm financing, alternatives for fire blight control, and nitrogen budgeting; and provide educational resources for consumers about organic certification.

CCOF welcomes member input. To join as a certified, supporting, or trade association member, or to get involved, visit their website at www.ccof.org.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Fruits Stories
precision ag vision conference
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Ag Tech Is Hot On Horticulture; Get A Handle On What This Means For You
As evidenced by the recent AgTech Summit hosted by Forbes magazine in Salinas, CA, action in precision farming and the Read More
cash money in hand
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Tall Spindle Axe featured
Stone Fruit
July 26, 2016
Take A Closer Look At The Tall Spindle Axe Training System
One of the more traditional three-dimensional canopies, Tall Spindle Axe data shows consistent early and sustained yields. Read More
Workers picking in a Florida strawberry field
Berries
July 26, 2016
Wish Farms Commits $100K To Food Safety Cause
Central Florida berry operation will donate $20,000 annually over the next five years to fund various research projects backed by the Center for Produce Safety. Read More
Spanish speaking employees
Fruits
July 26, 2016
Popular Spanish-Speaking Fruit Summer Tour Returns
Second-annual tour designed to educate Spanish-speaking employees or farmworkers on fruit growing practices. Read More
Feature Im-Perfect-Wal-Mart-Fruit-Apples (Photo credit: Walmart)
Apples & Pears
July 26, 2016
Walmart Begins Selling So-Called ‘Ugly Fruit’
Cosmetically challenged apples are the company’s first foray into a global movement to cut food waste. Read More
anti-GMO corn spoof via social media
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Study: GMO Ban Would Hurt Economy And Environment
Food prices and greenhouse gas emissions would rise, according to paper by Purdue University agricultural economist. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
July 28, 2016
Florida’s Medicinal Cannabis Venture Off…
The state’s first dispensary of product comes online in Tallahassee, others waiting for the green light. Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Ag Tech Is Hot On Horticulture; Get A Ha…
As evidenced by the recent AgTech Summit hosted by Forbes magazine in Salinas, CA, action in precision farming and the Read More
Citrus
July 27, 2016
Stockholders OK Dow, DuPont Merger
Companies intend to separate into three, independent companies. Read More
Fruits
July 26, 2016
Popular Spanish-Speaking Fruit Summer To…
Second-annual tour designed to educate Spanish-speaking employees or farmworkers on fruit growing practices. Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Study: GMO Ban Would Hurt Economy And En…
Food prices and greenhouse gas emissions would rise, according to paper by Purdue University agricultural economist. Read More
Farm Management
July 25, 2016
Seven Reasons You Need To Attend The Uni…
Education sessions and Capitol Hill visits will focus on key issues, such as labor, facing the fresh produce industry. Read More
Crop Protection
July 25, 2016
Organic Insect Control Product Available…
The mycoinsecticide is EPA registered and controls a variety of insect pests. Read More
Citrus
July 21, 2016
Farm Labor Delays Taking Toll On Crops […
When it comes down to it, we have a choice to make. We either have to import our labor, or we'll have to import our food. Read More
Citrus
July 20, 2016
My First Trip To Cuba Proves Fruitful
The five-day journey was enlightening, providing participants with a better perspective of the state of agriculture in this country 90 miles off Florida’s coast. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2016
Funds Allocated To Address Impact Of Cli…
NIFA announces $8.4 for study and development of new approaches to mitigate effects of climate change. Read More
Citrus
July 18, 2016
USDA Awards More Than $26 Million For Af…
The funding is to support more than 400 rental units in four states. Read More
Business Planning
July 18, 2016
Financial Fortitude Key For Small Farm S…
Local threats like citrus greening create additional challenges for many of Florida's more modest enterprises. Read More
Citrus
July 18, 2016
Bayer Ups Bid To Buy Monsanto
Reports indicate new offer at nearly $65 billion. Read More
Farm Management
July 14, 2016
House Passes GMO Labeling Legislation
The measure will be sent to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law. Read More
Citrus
July 14, 2016
Look Up! Farming’s Future Is Comin…
FAA's recent ruling regarding unmanned aircraft systems is good news for business. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2016
Hail Hits Northern Michigan
Growers encouraged to act quickly while trees and plants are susceptible to disease infection. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2016
Farm Credit Celebrates 100 Years Of Serv…
Lending institution plays a critical role in sustaining Florida agriculture. Read More
Berries
July 12, 2016
Automated Strawberry Picker: One Step Cl…
Company receives U.S. Patent approval for continuous picking wheel on the machine. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]