Jul 31, 2017
New Jersey to help growers, handlers with organic certification fees
Stephen Kloosterman

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture July 31 announced a program to partially reimburse produce growers and handlers for costs related to being certified organic.

The program is a partnership with the federal government to reduce organic certification costs as part of the governor’s ongoing efforts to promote New Jersey-grown and marketed organic food products.

Through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, each qualified producer or handler of organic products is eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75 percent of its costs of certification, not to exceed $750.  Certification costs include fees and charges levied by the certifying agent for certification activities.

To qualify for reimbursement under this program, an organic producer or handler must have been certified or incurred expenses for the continuation of certification during the period of October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.  Certification must be through a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

In the event that demand exceeds federal funds allocated to New Jersey, applications will be processed on a first come, first serve basis.  Operations may receive one reimbursement per certification or category of certification per year.

Applications must be received by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture no later than November 17, 2017. Applications and more information about the program are available online.

Organic producers and handlers can also visit their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices to apply for federal reimbursement.  Operations may apply through only one agency.  Duplicate reimbursements will not be issued to an operation.

Above: Jersey Fresh organic produce is pictured in this file photo from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture

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