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
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Wild Bee Populations Are out of Sync With Crop Needs
Some crops most dependent on pollinators, including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries, appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch. Read More
Basic tractor on the horizon
Citrus
February 22, 2017
Skilled Labor Needed to Keep Agriculture Growing [Opinion]
Even with the challenge of feeding a growing global population at hand, has focus been lost on recruiting where jobs on the farm are need most? Read More
Food Safety Modernization Act moving at snail's pace
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping Forward
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Apples & Pears
February 21, 2017
Snow Doesn’t Stop Day 1 of IFTA Conference
While the Wenatchee, WA, area has experienced higher-than expected snowfall, tour-goers trudge on to learn the latest about advanced production systems and high-value apple varieties. Read More
Grapes
February 18, 2017
Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Wine Purchasing
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance updates certification program, shows sustainability is important part of wine trade. Read More
IMPAC.org screenshot
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Farmers Win Over Consumers
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Grapes
February 17, 2017
Washington Organization Rebrands Itself
Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers unveils new identity at convention, now known as Washington Winegrowers Association. Read More
The Latest
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Farms Get Bigger Even as the Number of F…
A new report from USDA shows long-term trends continuing: fewer farms and fewer acres used in farming even as individual operations get bigger on average. Read More
Farm Management
February 22, 2017
Wild Bee Populations Are out of Sync Wit…
Some crops most dependent on pollinators, including pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries, appeared to have the strongest pollination mismatch. Read More
Citrus
February 22, 2017
Skilled Labor Needed to Keep Agriculture…
Even with the challenge of feeding a growing global population at hand, has focus been lost on recruiting where jobs on the farm are need most? Read More
Food Safety
February 21, 2017
Food Safety Modernization Act Creeping F…
Massive regulatory overhaul unfolds as the specialty crop industry hopes to ensure common-sense food safety rules and inspection. Read More
Citrus
February 17, 2017
How Precision Agriculture Is Helping Far…
New Florida-based organization is seeking to break down barriers between farmers and shoppers by providing a platform to not only show what is grown, but how it's grown. Read More
Equipment
February 17, 2017
Wanted: Tech Innovators for Drone Challe…
Land O'Lakes Prize offers up $150,000 to help make drones more useable for farmers Read More
Fruits
February 17, 2017
Are Drones the Future of Pollination?
Researchers in Japan have turned drones into robot bees as artificial pollinators. Read More
Fruits
February 16, 2017
New App Helps Fruit Growers Calculate Ch…
App helps growers calculate chill hours based on locations and models and assess physiological needs of fruit crops. Read More
Citrus
February 16, 2017
Food Trends Driving Growth Opportunities…
More niche markets emerging for growers to give consumers what they want and need. Read More
Farm Management
February 14, 2017
Californians Holding Breath as More Stor…
Nearly 200,000 people evacuated below nation’s tallest dam; even growers have had enough for now. Read More
Fruits
February 10, 2017
Immigration Enforcement Warning Issued b…
Association advises members to prepare for Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids in wake of Trump’s executive order. Read More
Fruits
February 6, 2017
Organic Trade Association Rallies Suppor…
Group is encouraging consumers to tell USDA they support an organic research and promotion program. Read More
Citrus
February 5, 2017
New Product Helps Bees Brush Off Mites
A British company developed Bee Gym, distributed by Vita Ltd. Read More
Fruits
February 4, 2017
Pests, Diseases in Organic Growing the t…
Biology, ecology of organic production the focus of two-day event. Read More
Citrus
February 2, 2017
Florida Seeking to Fete More Eco-Innovat…
Nominations open for the Commissioner’s Agricultural-Environmental Award. Read More
Citrus
January 30, 2017
List of Best College Farms Released
Website evaluated farms on sustainability factors, community programming, and courses available at the university or college farm, not just in the classroom. Read More
Fruits
January 30, 2017
Avoid Technology at Your Peril [Opinion]
Like it or not, technology is going to have a dramatic effect on fruit growing over the next few years. Read More
Fruits
January 29, 2017
Hold the Labels, Please [Opinion]
Companies who point out the absence of GMOs can hurt may hurt the produce industry as a whole. Read More