CCOF is the first national certifier to work extensively with the WFA on its organics and biodiversity project. Together, these two groups support habitat conservation, water quality, and wildlife preservation in national organic farm standards and certification. While current organic standards clearly require the protection of biodiversity resources on and around organic farms, until now, organic growers lacked clear guidelines on how to achieve this. As the world faces a mounting biodiversity crisis, these groups hope to lead the way for agriculture to be an increasingly positive force for the environment.
CCOF and several of its certified organic growers worked with WFA by actively developing and testing biodiversity strategies on real-life organic farms. Under this project, WFA developed biodiversity guidelines for organic farmers and organic certification agencies in the United States. WFA also produced booklets for both farmers and organic certifiers to help them understand how to implement biodiversity considerations into their ongoing activities. These guides have been sent to every certified organic grower and certifier in the country.
Now that organics are coming under more scrutiny, this is an important step forward. WFA’s biodiversity guidelines have also “been accepted by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) and integrated into their model organic certification application. This is an important step towards the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program enforcing these requirements for all organic farmed products in the United States.”
I briefly looked around CCOF’s site to see if they’re involved in any intiatives focused on local organic foods. Didn’t find anything yet — don’t know if any of the big organic organizations are involved in trying to reduce transport of food over long distances.