This fee is due each year with your Organic System Plan or Annual Update. It covers your basic certification services for the upcoming certification season, including review of your certification documents for compliance with regulations and inspection expenses other than the inspector’s hourly fee. It entitles you to all membership benefits, including the PCO certification manual, materials lists and review services, record-keeping system, newsletter, and educational events & materials at no additional charge. You also have direct access to your certification specialist’s expertise via phone, mail or email.
The sales assessment fee is calculated on your annual gross organic sales for farming, handling and processing operations in the previous year. You will receive an invoice for these fees after we receive your application or annual update.
This fee covers the additional time and expertise required to certify operations that are more complicated than those with only crops or land.
The actual cost of your inspection is charged at an hourly rate. PCO works hard to coordinate inspections in geographic regions to minimize travel time.
Other fees may include a new applicant fee (includes processing of application, Certification and National Organic Program (NOP) manuals, Material Lists and guidance documents), expedited services, and additional fees related to circumstances beyond the regular certification process.
For a complete list of the current year certification fees, download our fee schedule here
The Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) provides organic producers and handlers with financial assistance to reduce the cost of organic certification. The program reimburses producers and handlers for a portion of their paid certification costs.
Organic operators can be reimbursed on an annual basis as much as 50 percent of their certification costs from October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, up to a maximum of $500 per scope of certification. Organic operations may receive one reimbursement per scope of certification per year. This means that clients that are certified of crops and livestock may be eligible for more than one reimbursement.
To ensure that your application is considered, and to improve your chance of receiving funds, it is important to submit complete and correct information and documentation. You may apply through your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or through participating state agencies.
To read the full Policies and Procedures of the National Organic Program (NOP) for cost share, click here.
New in 2021, the Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) is another financial assistance program for both organic and transitioning operations. This program is part of the USDA's Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.
Eligible expenses are listed in the table below:
For certified operations to be eligible, you must be in good standing at time of application. Operations withe suspended, revoked, denied or withdrawn USDA organic certifications are ineligible.
Applications can be made through your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Applications for fiscal year 2022 can be submitted from May 16, 2022-October 31, 2022.
If you need supporting documentation for your Cost Share or OTECP forms (e.g. application, paid invoice or organic certification), click the button below and complete the form. Please allow allow up to 5 business days for PCO to respond.