Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know
1. UCSC’s Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems – 50 years Outstanding in Their Field
Dating back to 1967 when master gardener Alan Chadwick transformed the rolling chaparral into a prolific organic garden, the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) has evolved into a multifaceted research, education, and public service endeavor. The work at their 33 acre organic farm continues to make an impact on organic producers locally and across the globe.
Come celebrate their 50 years of work at the "First 50 Celebration & Symposium" at UC Santa Cruz, July 28–30th 2017. There will be a compelling line-up of speakers, workshops & tours, with good music, local food and time for mingling with old-timers (like me) and many newcomers to the sustainable agriculture community.
2. U.S. Senate Bill Boosts Funding for USDA's National Organic Program
The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations has approved legislation that boosts funding for the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP) by $3 million to $12.1 million.
The FY2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill passed unanimously Thursday providing $145.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding, nearly $5 billion more than President Trump's budget request.
The Senate Appropriations Committee's bill also increases funding for the Organic Transition Program (OTP) to $5 million. Trump's budget request had zeroed out the $4 million in funding for the Organic Transition Program (OTP), a research grant program that helps farmers overcome some of the challenges of organic production and marketing.
3. SunSelect Produce, Inc Goes 100% Fair Trade Certified
SunSelect Produce, Inc. said with the certification of its Tehachapi, Calif., greenhouse operation, all its produce is now Fair Trade Certified.
The Aldergrove, British Columbia-based company produces tomatoes and bell peppers in California, and markets all its produce under the Outrageously Fresh brand. Edith Gubiotti, SunSelect’s vice president of human resources and administration, said the difference the certification is making in the lives of its labor force is what matters most.
4. Tanimura & Antle Brings on Organic Expert John McKeon
With a focus on assuring organic integrity in their growing organic program, Tanimura & Antle has hired John McKeon as Senior Manager of Organic Compliance & Sustainability. In this new role, McKeon will direct all compliance activities for the company’s organic program, quality assurance for the company’s organic, commission and consolidation supply chain, R&D for organic materials and new business platforms, customer compliance management, FSMA compliance management for organic items, and standards development for sustainability and social accountability programs.
5. Survey Shows Little Consumer Enthusiasm for Amazon-Whole Foods Online Grocery and Meal Services
Ecommerce giant Amazon.com proposed $13.7 billion acquisition of the world's largest organic and natural grocery chain, Whole Foods Market, has generated little enthusiasm among consumers to sign up for an online grocery or meal delivery service through the potentially merged retailer.
That's according to a new report by Germany-based market research firm GfK SE's New York City office, which conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults to gauge their reaction to news of the acquisition.
Dave Corsi, Vice President Produce and Floral, Wegman’s Food Markets, shared the Wegman’s story, his own pathway and thoughts about organics during the OPS general session, retail roundtable.Read More
The entry into the organic value-added retail marketplace of Salinas-based Ippolito International is a logical next step for this second-generation farming company. After supplying a sister company in Canada with raw organic product for the past 10 years---- and opening a state-of-the-art value-added facility in Salinas---- Ippolito took the natural next step and introduced its new line of organic salads at this month’s Organic Produce Summit.
General attendee registration is now open for the inaugural Organic Grower Summit (OGS), slated for December 13-14 in Monterey, CA. A joint production between California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and Organic Produce Network (OPN), OGS will bring together organic growers, producers and processors for two days of education, information and networking opportunities with organic production supply chain and service providers.Read More
A look into the Organic Produce Summit educational sessions which included a variety of hot topics and speakers including: Organic Produce Merchandising with Raley's and New Seasons, Ag Tech Robotics and Automation with Food Origins and Soft Robotics , Bioponics with Wholesum Farms, A Look At Trends in Organic with Nielsen and Robinson Fresh.Read More
By Geoffrey Mohan, LA TimesRead More