CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES ASSISTANCE WITH ORGANIC CERTIFICATION COSTS

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture announced a partnership with the federal government to reduce organic certification costs as part of the Christie Administration’s ongoing efforts to promote New Jersey-grown and marketed organic food products.

Through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Certification Cost Share Program and Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program, each qualified producer or handler of organic products is eligible for a reimbursement of up to 75 percent of its costs of certification not to exceed $750.  Certification costs include fees and charges levied by the certifying agent for certification activities.

To qualify for reimbursement under this program, an organic producer or handler must have been certified or incurred expenses for the continuation of certification during the period of October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.  Certification must be through a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

In the event that demand exceeds the amount of funds allocated to New Jersey, applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis.  Operations may receive one reimbursement per certification or category of certification per year.

Applications must be received by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture no later than November 19, 2015.  Applications and more information about the program are available online atwww.nj.gov/agriculture/grants/organiccostshare.html.

Please contact John Denlinger at 609-984-2225 orJohn.Denlinger@ag.state.nj.us.