14 February 2017 NEWS

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) meeting 

Vitalis Organic Seeds was glad to attend the annual California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) meeting and conference in Visalia, California on February 10.  The theme of the event was “Organic Innovation and Inspiration.” 

The sold-out event highlighted organic agriculture’s growing role in the San Joaquin Valley.  According to CCOF, “within the San Joaquin Valley specifically, organic is beginning to play a bigger role in the booming agricultural economy: in 1983, CCOF certified a single organic farm in the San Joaquin Valley; today, over 499 CCOF-certified organic producers call the region home.”

Keynote speaker Gary Hirshberg from Stonyfield Farms told the story of growing his organic dairy business by reaching out directly to customers with an “Adopt a Cow” initiative to educate the public about family farming. 

Other speaker panels included “The State of Organic in California,” with updates from CDFA, the California Farm Bureau, and CCOF founding member Mark Lipson from Molino Creek Farm, as well as a panel about “Organic Distribution and Retail,” highlighting perspectives from retail produce distributors on the growth of organic. 

CCOF is the organic certifying agency for Vitalis Organic Seeds’ research plots in Culiacan, Mexico and San Juan Bautista, California, and for the commercial warehouse in Salinas, California.  The 2018 annual meeting and conference will take place next year on February 22-23 in Sacramento.