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Webinar: Organic Value-Added Processing & Certification

12/11/17, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Join the CCOF Foundation on December 11 for a webinar on how to certify value-added farm products as organic.
Thinking about turning your extra produce in to jams, salsas, or dried fruit? Value-added products can bring in extra income and add diversity to your market offerings. Join us for a webinar that reviews requirements for certifying value-added products under the USDA National Organic Program. This webinar is ideal for small- to mid-sized organic farms looking to explore organic certification requirements for their value-added products.
Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to certify your value-added products as organic! Jessie Nichols, senior hander certification specialist at CCOF, will review the requirements for organic growers looking to certify their value-added productssuch as jams, salsas, and dried fruitthrough the USDA National Organic Program. In addition, she will highlight different avenues for integrating value-added processing into a farming operation, including processing products in a farm kitchen, using a commercial kitchen, or hiring a co-packer. Finally, Nichols will touch on special considerations related to shared commercial kitchens, CSA boxes, as well as simple on-farm processing.
In the second half of the webinar, gain the on-farm perspective from Rebecca Courchesne (a.k.a. Chef Becky) from Frog Hollow Farm. Courchesne will share her experience producing a diversity of organic value-added products from Frog Hollow Farm fruit, including conserves, marmalades, and chutneys.
About Our Speakers
Jessie Nichols is a senior handler certification specialist with over three years of experience at CCOF. Nichols works with organic processers daily, ranging from simple fruit packers and olive oil mills to complex multi-ingredient processors and wineries. She reviews new applications, inspection reports, new products, and organic system plan updates to ensure that labels, formulas, materials, and practices meet National Organic Program regulations. She serves as the primary contact for over 200 CCOF members in the United States and Mexico.
Prior to joining CCOF, Nichols worked in youth and adult education. She gained hands-on experience with organic growing as an apprentice and assistant garden manager at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of
California, Santa Cruz. Nichols holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Rebecca Courchesne (a.k.a. “Chef Becky”) is the expert preserver at Frog Hollow Farm. Although she graduated from Linfield College with degrees in English and anthropology, cooking was always her first love. After moving back to her Bay Area birthplace, she began working in the kitchen at Alice Waters’ Cafe Fanny and later became head pastry chef at Oliveto in Oakland. It was there, while “Farmer Al” was making his delivery rounds, that the pastry chef met the peach farmer. Courchesne moved to the farm in 1995, and in 2000, inspired by the abundance of delicious fruit all around her, launched a line of now-famous organic conserves, marmalades, jelly, and chutney all made with Frog Hollow Fruit grown right in her backyard.