September 8, 2011
The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) is now accepting State applications for 2012. States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, are eligible to apply for the program funds.
Participating States will then accept applications from organic producers and handlers who need financial assistance for organic certification. The cost-share program will reimburse up to 75 percent of eligible certification costs, not to exceed $750 annually. Producers and handlers applying for organic certification for the first time, as well as those renewing their organic certification are eligible. Visit USDA’s NOCCSP website to learn more about eligibility criteria.
USDA’s National Organic Program (NOP) Organic Insider announced on September 6 that in 2012 there are $5.35 million in funds available for the program. The 2008 Farm Bill provided $22 million in mandatory funding for NOCCSP, available over the life of the bill until expended. The $5.35 million is nearly the remainder of what is left of this $22 million (minus administration of the program), highlighting desire for and the utility of the program.
Further highlighting growing demand, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan noted, “The USDA witnessed a 10 percent surge in applicants last year.”
NSAC will advocate for reauthorizing and modestly increasing funding for the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program in the next farm bill cycle in order to keep up with the growing demand from organic producers and handlers.