The National Organic Coalition says it is “outraged” that USDA’s Farm Service Agency has chosen to reduce reimbursements to organic producers in the midst of a pandemic.”
USDA announced Organic Certification Cost Share Program funds to offset the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification. Applications for eligible certification expenses paid between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, are due October 31, 2020.
However, due to expected participation levels and the limited funds available, USDA’s Farm Service Agency revised the reimbursement amount available through fiscal year 2023. Certified producers and handlers are now eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 50 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $500 per scope.
The NOC said the 2018 Farm Bill “clearly set reimbursement rates” at 75 percent of the certified organic operation’s eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $750 per scope.