California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), one of the largest U.S. organic certifiers, next week will release policy recommendations to address California’s biggest challenges to expanding organic agriculture “to all California communities” by increasing organic farmland in the state from 4 to 10 percent by 2030.
Santa Cruz, Calif.-based CCOF, founded in 1973, and representing more than 3,600 certified organic members in 44 states and three countries, said the recommendations are its next installment in a research project titled Roadmap to an Organic California.
The Roadmap project highlights the benefits of organic agriculture and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges – from climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies.
The project is funded by California-based outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia, which entered the food business in 2012, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, and the nation’s largest supplier of organic strawberries, Driscoll’s Inc.
Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in February 2019 and included a review of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of organic agriculture.
“Increasing to 10 percent organic acreage [in California] would reduce emissions equivalent to 601,500 cars. Going fully organic would be the equivalent of removing 7.8 million cars from the road,” said the Benefits Report.
The Policy Report presents about 40 policy recommendations “to grow organic to combat climate change and foster healthier, more secure communities,” CCOF said.
On Feb. 18, CCOF will celebrate the release of the report at a party in Sacramento, where its members and supporters will gather the next day to meet with legislators at the State Capitol to ask for support in advancing the Roadmap.