Understanding fees

Investing in

ORGANIC CERTIFICATION

Understanding certification fees

Payment of fees with your application enables our team to jump right in and start reviewing your certification service request.

The cost of certification differs depending on your certification service, your type of operation (i.e., farmer, processor, etc.) and your product sales. Oregon Tilth starts your certification journey with education and connection to technical resources. We’ll work together to figure out if certification is right for you.

We understand that the cost of certification is a big factor in your decision. Check out the costs of our services, opportunities for financial aid, and other support available to increase access and affordability for new food and farm businesses to get certified.

First-time certification applicants

Our fees for the first year of certification are broken down into three types:

  • New applicant fee
  • Certification service fee
  • Inspection fee

New applicant fee

A one-time, non-refundable new applicant fee of $300 for all new applicants covers the cost of our initial staff review of your organic system plan.

Certification service fee

The first-year service fee (or baseline fee) is different depending on your certification service. The fees are:

  • Farm (crop): $325
  • Farm (livestock): $425
  • Farm (livestock and crop): $425
  • Food business (processor/handler): $1,000

Inspection fee

We work hard to minimize costs for inspection whenever possible. In general, the inspection fee includes the inspector’s time preparing, reviewing and completing the inspection report, and travel expenses.

View the OTCO Fee Schedule

Transfer certification applicants

For anyone wishing to transfer existing organic certification to Oregon Tilth, our fees work the same as clients certified after year one. The annual certification service fee is based on the previous year’s gross income from organic product sales. Transferring applicants will also require an inspection and the associated fees.

The new applicant fee is waived for all transferring certification applicants.

Expedited application

For applicants (new or transferring) requesting faster certification service, we offer an expedited application option.

The flat fee of $3,000 for expedited services is charged in addition to the certification service (baseline) fee, inspection fee and, if applicable, new applicant fee. Payment for expedited services is expected at the time of a new application submission.

If applying for multiple certification services, such as farm and processing, the flat expedited service fee applies to each requested certification. Expedited service often requires a rush inspection that may result in higher costs.

With expedited services, new applicants receive accelerated attention for reviews, secure inspection scheduling quickly, and are assured shorter turnarounds at key stages throughout the certification process. To learn more, visit our Fee Schedule the OTCO Fee Schedule.

Financial aid for organic certification

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) helps certified operators afford the expense of organic certification. The program refunds up to 75 percent, or a maximum of $500, of certification costs per “scope” — crops, wild harvest, livestock, processing, and handling — for eligible organic operations. Recipients must be certified organic under the National Organic Program to receive cost share assistance.

Reimbursements will be made on a first-come, first serve basis until all funds have been disbursed, or the grant period ends. Oregon Tilth continues to advocate for preservation and continuation of the Cost Share program, knowing it is a critical tool for increasing access and affordability for farmers and food businesses.

Apply for Cost Share

Fee waiver for veterans and education programs

We offer certification fee waivers for farms exclusive use for education and public research, as well as veteran-owned farms. The one-time new applicant fee and inspection costs still apply.

Applicants applying as an education or research institution will need to provide documentation of your nonprofit status, education efforts and/or research. Veterans will be asked for proof of military service to qualify for the fee waiver. We’re proud partners with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to extend fee waivers to all of its members, and support education opportunities for farmer veterans.

Ongoing annual certification fees

After the first year of certification, our certification service fee is based on the previous year’s gross income from organic product sales. This does not include the annual inspection fee costs that are also required.

We’ve simplified our fee structure to make it easier to calculate and understand costs. You can use our fee calculator tool to estimate certification fees for the future, or determine your exact costs now.

For a full explanation of our fees, including costs for add-on certification services or expedited requests like a new label, read our OTCO Fee Schedule guide.

OTCO Fee Schedule guide Fee Calculator