As summer winds down and we start to look toward fall, there is one important deadline to remember:
The application deadline for Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) is November 1, 2021!
On August 17, 2021 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that organic producers and handlers can submit their applications for cost share reimbursement. All certified producers and handlers can apply to OCCSP and receive reimbursement for certification expenses up to 50% (or $500) per scope.
Certified operations may apply for reimbursement of organic certification expenses paid between Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. Evidence of paid certification fees between these two dates is an important part of the application. If you need a paid invoice, please contact OneCert at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 420-6080.
In addition to the paid invoice, you will need to submit a W-9, the completed OCCSP Form, and a copy of your most recent organic certificate. For new clients, this means you will need to have been granted certification prior to applying for cost share. For renewing clients, your most recent NOP certificate will suffice.
These reimbursements are on a first-come, first served basis, so we encourage you to apply well in advance of the November 1st deadline if you are able.
Prior to last year, the cost share program provided up to 75% ($750) per scope. However, it was reduced to 50% ($500) a little over one year ago to ensure their ability to serve as many applicants as possible. It is our understanding that the reimbursement levels will remain at $500 per scope through 2023, unless congress authorizes additional funding.
To learn more, visit the OCCSP Website or contact your FSA county office.