The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has said that organic growers and handlers can apply for federal funds to help cover the costs of obtaining and maintaining organic certification by the bias of the Organic certification cost-sharing program (OCCSP).
Requests for eligible certification expenses paid between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020 are due by October 31, 2020.
“For producers producing certified organic food, this program helps cover some of those certification costs,” FSA administrator Richard Fordyce said in a statement on Monday August 10.
He said participants should contact their local FSA county office to learn more about this program and other valuable USDA resources, such as agricultural loans and conservation assistance, which can help them. to success.
The OCCSP provides cost-shared assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program.
Eligible growers include any certified growers or managers who have paid an organic certification fee to a USDA-accredited certification agent, the agency said in a press release. Expenses eligible for shared-cost reimbursement include application fees, inspection fees, fees related to the equivalency agreement and arrangement requirements, inspectors’ travel costs, user fees, sales evaluations and postage.
Due to the expected participation levels and the limited funds available, the FSA has revised the amount of reimbursement available until fiscal year 2023.
To learn more, including the application process, visit this USDA Web Page.