The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) allocated more than $17.4 million for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) nationwide. Oregon was awarded $284,000 up from $258,000 in 2017. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is a USDA-accredited certifying agent for organic crop production and handling/processing. The purpose of the OCCSP is to reimburse organic operations for specific organic certification costs. Oregon is fourth in the nation in the sales of certified organic commodities.
“The cost of organic certification should not be a barrier for Oregon producers wanting to compete in the organic marketplace,” said ODA, Director Alexis Taylor. “Oregon is very competitive in the organic industry, with more than $351 million in annual sales and nearly 194,000 acres in production statewide and climbing. Our goal is to make these funds widely available in order to increase the opportunities for producers to contribute to the Oregon’s agricultural economy.”
The USDA is authorized by Congress to provide organic certification cost share assistance to Oregon producers or handlers who have paid eligible costs during the period of October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019. Oregon producers or handlers that receive certification or renew their certification from a USDA accredited certifier are eligible to receive reimbursement for 75 percent of eligible certification fees, up to a maximum of $750 per annual certification scope.
Complete applications and all necessary documents with proof of payment between October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019 must be submitted by October 31, 2019. Reimbursements will be made on a first come first serve basis until all available funds have been disbursed. Please allow 3-4 weeks to receive reimbursement.
ODA is now accepting OCCSP applications. For more information please visit the ODA webpage or contact the OCCSP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-986-6473