organic certification

Assistance for Organic Certification Costs

Daniel CooperOrganic

organic certification cost

Through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA FSA) will cover up to 75% of organic certification costs at a maximum of $750 per certification category. FSA is now accepting applications.

The program provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of organic agricultural commodities for expenses incurred obtaining or maintaining organic certification under USDA’s National Organic Program. Eligible OCCSP applicants include any certified organic producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. 

Cost share assistance covers expenses including application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, inspector travel expenses, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

Organic producers and handlers should apply for OCCSP by the Oct. 31 deadline for eligible expenses incurred from Oct. 1, 2023 to Sept. 30, 2024. FSA will issue payments as applications are received and approved. 

To apply, producers and handlers should contact FSA at their local USDA Service Center and be prepared to provide documentation of organic certification and eligible expenses. Applications can also be submitted through participating state departments of agriculture. For more information, visit the OCCSP webpage.   

“Costs associated with obtaining organic certification can be a barrier for California producers wanting to get certified,” said Blong Xiong, FSA state executive director in California. “Through OCCSP assistance, FSA helps California organic producers obtain certification and leverage related benefits like premium prices for commodities and access to broader markets and additional technical assistance.”  

OCCSP was part of a broader organic announcement made by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on May 15, which also included the Organic Market Development Grant program and Organic Transition Initiative (OTI). OTI includes direct farmer assistance for organic production, processing and conservation.

Get more information on organic agriculture here.

Source: USDA

Share this Post

Sponsored Content