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
Crowd protesting GMOs stock image FEATURE
Farm Management
August 24, 2016
Swaying Views On GMO Foods No Easy Task
Featured speaker for the upcoming FFVA Annual Convention says tides are slowly turning in how people digest the concept of genetic modification. Read More
A subsurface microirrigation system.
(Photo credit: Peter Jacoby)
Grapes
August 23, 2016
Deeper Irrigation Method Showing Promise For Vineyards
A new subsurface irrigation system is showing promise for slashing water usage in vineyards. Many vineyards use drip lines that Read More
sprayer nozzles
Fruits
August 23, 2016
New Insecticides Geared To Give Growers Edge Over Pests
Check out three unique chemistries from several of the industry's leading crop protection suppliers. Read More
Prepping apples for cleaning, waxing, and sorting.
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2016
Apple Crop Forecasts Live On Twitter
You'll be able to get up-to-the-minute reports of not only the various regions of the U.S., but key production regions around the world. Read More
Growers should remove unharvested cherries and destroy them to cut spotted wing drosophila populations, as Nikki Rothwell demonstrates with this golf cart.
Pest Control
August 21, 2016
Spotted Wing Drosophila: For Michigan, It’s A ‘Game-Changer’
Why the pest can be so much more destructive for Eastern cherry growers might be due to what they’re not farming. Read More
EGVM
Grapes
August 19, 2016
European Grapevine Moth Eradicated From California
Agricultural officials confirm eradication of invasive pest, lift quarantine restrictions. Read More
cracked earth
Fruits
August 19, 2016
Parts Of New York Now In Extreme Drought
Water deficits starting to cause concern for fire, water shortages in the Empire State. Read More
The Latest
Citrus
August 24, 2016
Meet Florida’s 2016 Woman Of The Year In…
Dedication to fostering the state’s farming future defines the latest winner of longtime honor. Read More
Berries
August 24, 2016
Researchers Unravel Genetic Ancestry Of …
A genetic analysis conducted by New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station researchers aims to improve modern cultivation efforts of strawberry growers. Read More
Fruits
August 24, 2016
Don’t Underestimate The Value Of P…
Sure, you can see and talk with virtually anyone in the world through your smart phone, but you can’t shake their hand. Read More
Farm Management
August 24, 2016
Swaying Views On GMO Foods No Easy Task
Featured speaker for the upcoming FFVA Annual Convention says tides are slowly turning in how people digest the concept of genetic modification. Read More
Fruits
August 23, 2016
New Insecticides Geared To Give Growers …
Check out three unique chemistries from several of the industry's leading crop protection suppliers. Read More
Fruits
August 19, 2016
Parts Of New York Now In Extreme Drought
Water deficits starting to cause concern for fire, water shortages in the Empire State. Read More
Citrus
August 19, 2016
Rough Winter In Store For Much Of The U.…
The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its competitor The Farmers’ Almanac predict the 2016-2017 winter will be cold for much of the country. Read More
Citrus
August 18, 2016
Trump Campaign Announces Agricultural Ad…
Just three of the 64 are directly involved with fruits and vegetables, all three are Californians. Read More
Fruits
August 16, 2016
Growers Optimistic Despite Drought
Growers say continued heat could cause early ripening, still expect season to progress as planned. Read More
Crop Protection
August 15, 2016
New Study Shows Neonicotinoids Pose Litt…
Washington State University researchers reveal the controversial pesticides aren’t dangerous for bees in the real world. Read More
Crop Protection
August 14, 2016
Improving Drought Resilience And Reducin…
Soil health experts gain ground on standardized measurements and identify future research needs. Read More
Citrus
August 12, 2016
Second Half Of Atlantic Hurricane Season…
After a relatively sluggish start to the campaign, revised forecast foresees increased tropical activity ahead. Read More
Equipment
August 11, 2016
New UTV To Hit The Market In January 201…
Yanmar enters the UTV market with two designs of its Bull Series. Read More
Citrus
August 10, 2016
Therapeutic Cannabis Culture Taking Off …
Another licensed nursery gets the go-ahead; makes deliveries to patients in need. Read More
Citrus
August 10, 2016
Protect Yourself From The Zika Virus [Op…
The University of Florida is on the front lines of the battle against mosquito-borne diseases. Read More
Citrus
August 9, 2016
Florida Farmers Need Not Sink Amid Algal…
In the wake of an algal bloom disaster, growers need to be prepared, proactive, and farm smart. There is much at stake. Read More
Citrus
August 9, 2016
Water Quality Win Streak Continues For S…
Despite record rainfall, producers in the Everglades Agricultural Area again exceed phosphorus reduction standards. Read More
Food Safety
August 8, 2016
Longtime Member Of UC-Davis Postharvest …
Dr. Trevor Suslow, who has been a member at the center for 20 years, is taking over for Elizabeth Mitcham. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]