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.
For a complete list of the current year certification fees, download our fee schedule here
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) has provided funds for certified organic operations to assist with the costs of organic certification. With the passage of the Farm Bill, the Cost Share program is now available in all 50 states!
Organic operators can be reimbursed on an annual basis as much as 75 percent of their certification costs from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020, up to a maximum of $750 per scope of certification.
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. As a member service, PCO is providing a link below to the PDA’s Cost Share Application. Please follow the steps below carefully.
To read the full Policies and Procedures of the National Organic Program (NOP) for cost share, click here.
(For other states see below)
For assistance, contact Michele Brookins (Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture) 717-787-5319
If you are scheduled to have an inspection that occurs after the cut-off date of 9/30/20, you can request to pre-pay an “estimate” of your anticipated inspection fees prior to 9/30/20 so that fee will be eligible to qualify for reimbursement as well. The “estimate” will be based on your previous year’s inspection costs. If you are a new operator, that figure would be based on the type of operation you have. Otherwise, those fees will fall into the next year’s Cost Share Program period and will have to wait for qualification.
For information on how to apply for Certification Cost Share funds in other states, please view the contact list of National Organic Program (NOP) Certification Cost Share Program Participants and ask your state’s contact about application procedures and deadlines.