Actual organic certification costs and fees vary widely depending on many factors. From the size and scope of your organic operation to the organic certifying agent you choose to the state you live in, many issues can affect your costs.
The National Organic Program (NOP) notes that organic certification may cost anywhere from, "A few hundred to several thousand dollars," but know that, "A few hundred," is an extremely low estimate. In many cases it will cost around $1,200 for an organic processor to get certified and around $700+ for a new organic farm to get certified.
Additionally, there are many other costs beyond your actual organic application. For example, during the certification process you may have to pay for inspections, assessments, travel costs for your agent, plus ongoing annual renewal fees.
It almost goes without saying, but due to the vast differences in certification costs, you really need to do your research before you settle down with one certifying agent. Make sure you get a written estimate of the certifier’s fee structure and an explanation of how their individual billing cycle works, so you can figure out if the costs are something you're comfortable with.
- Questions to Ask an Organic Certification Agency
- Other Certification Costs You May Not be Aware of
Luckily, once you're officially certified, you may be able to access one of the USDA Organic Certification Cost-Share Programs, which may reimburse up to 75% of your final certification costs.