Financial assistance available for organic certification

Financial assistance is available to help Colorado companies with the cost of organic certification. In order to qualify for this year’s reimbursement, producers and handlers must have received certification or continuation of certification by a US Department of Agriculture accredited certifying agent Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016.

Under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2013, cost-share assistance payments are limited to 75 percent of an individual producer’s or handler’s certification costs up to a maximum of $750 per category of certification. These funds will be distributed until exhausted on a first-come first-serve basis. The deadline for submitting application is Nov. 15.

Applications for the reimbursements should be submitted after the certification process is complete and all fees have been paid. Proof of certification and certification fees paid must be submitted with your application.

The cost share program is through a cooperative agreement between the USDA and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry. CDA is accredited by the USDA as an organic state certifier under the National Organic Program and currently certifies approximately 200 Colorado facilities. Producers and handlers who use other certifying agencies may still qualify for the program but must contact CDA for the appropriate forms.

For copies of the cost assistance forms, visit colorado.gov/ag/dpi or call Barbara Rosenbach at 303-869-9051.

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