Funds to Help Cover Costs for Organic Certification
The United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA) is accepting applications for the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. Applications are due November 1, 2021.
What is the purpose of the program? The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides organic producers and handlers with financial assistance to reduce the cost of organic certification. The program reimburses producers and handlers for a portion of their paid certification costs.
Who is eligible to apply? Certified organic producers and handlers who have paid certification fees during the 2021 and subsequent program year may apply for reimbursement of the incurred costs.
Organic certification cost share funds are only available to certified organic producers and handlers. Certification must be provided by a USDA-accredited certifying agent.
What are eligible costs for this program? Eligible costs include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements, travel/per diem for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments, and postage.
For the 2021 program year, OCCSP will cover eligible expenses paid during the period of October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.
What is the maximum reimbursable amount? For 2021, OCCSP will reimburse 50 percent of a certified operation’s allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $500 for each of the following categories (or “scopes”):
- Wild crops
- State organic program fees
What is the application process? Producers and handlers may submit OCCSP applications to Farm State Agency (FSA) county offices or they may apply through participating State agencies.
To apply through State agencies, see the list here. State agencies may have a different application process than FSA; applicants should refer to their State agency's requirements and ensure they are using the correct application form. Applicants cannot receive duplicate benefits from both FSA and a State agency.
Applicants must typically submit a one-page application form, W-9 tax form (to participating state agencies), proof of certification, and an itemized invoice of certification expenses. Applications are due on November 1, 2021.
For more information on this program or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 530-893-4764.