Federal Funds Available to Receive and Maintain Organic Certification
The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides federal funds to assist growers and handlers with the costs associated with applying for and maintaining organic certification under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. OCCSP is currently accepting applications for eligible certification expenses paid between October 1, 2019 – September 20, 2020. Applications are due October 31, 2020.
Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who have paid organic certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent. Eligible expenses for the cost-share reimbursement include:
- Application fees
- Inspection costs
- Fees related to equivalency agreement/arrangement requirements
- Travel expenses for inspectors
- User fees
- Sales assessments
At this time, eligible applicants may receive reimbursement for up to 50 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, with a maximum of $500 per scope. If additional funding is authorized by Congress, FSA may be able to provide certified operations that have applied for OCCSP up to 75 percent of their eligible costs, with a $750 per scope maximum.
- Applicants must typically submit:
- A one-page application form
- W-9 tax form (to participating state agencies)
- Proof of certification
- Itemized invoice of certification expenses
For more information, visit the OCCSP website or view the OCCSP Fact Feet. To apply for OCCSP funds, you may apply via your local FSA office or access the form online. If you use the online portal, you can locate the form by typing OCCSP in the “title or keywords” field on the search page.