This post was republished with permission from the author. The original was published in the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau ‘Between the Furrows’ Newsletter, May 2014.
“CCOF would like to make it easier and more affordable for famers applying to NRCS programs to become certified, especially during the transition period between conventional and organic production” according to Jake Lewin, President of CCOF Certification Services, LLC.
CCOF is now providing NRCS with waiver letters that can be copied and supplied to any grower applying to NRCS programs who may also be interested in attaining organic certification. The letter grants requesting producers a waiver from the one-time $325 new application fee for CCOF certification. The waiver also guarantees CCOF’s lowest fee category ($200) during the grower’s first year of certification. Growers that submit waiver letters signed by NRCS to CCOF along with their application for certification will not be charged a new application fee. “Growers using this waiver would still be required to pay inspection fees, which are based on time and travel”, according to Lewin.
Both NRCS and CCOF are very excited about this new program designed to assist growers seeking organic certification and to help further NRCS’s work with organic growers. To find out more about NRCS’s work with transitional farmers and related organic incentive programs, contact the Capitola NRCS office at 475-1967.
Prospective applicants who wish to learn more about the certification process can contact CCOF Applicant Support Specialist, Jane Wade, by calling 831-423-2263, ext. 43 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. CCOF was founded in 1973 to promote organic food and agriculture as a nonprofit organic trade association, foundation and certification agency.