How are my certification fees assessed?
OTCO bases all certification fees on your type of operation as outlined in the Oregon Tilth Fee Schedule.
In general, there are two main fee types for certification and each is dependent on the services requested: the annual certification fee and the inspection fee.
Annual certification fees for certified operations are based on the gross income of certified products — there is a fixed fee for new applicants, depending on activities — and are determined using the fee schedule chart.
Depending on activities, new applicants have a fixed fee rather than a fee based on the gross income of certified products. Additionally, there is a one-time new applicant fee.
OTCO has partnered with The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to create Bee Better Certified™. The certification program identifies and celebrates farmers and businesses that adopt farm management practices that support pollinators.
OPT Grass-Fed Organic
OTCO, in cooperation with Earth Claims LLC, and The Organic Plus Trust (OPT) provides OPT Certified Grass-Fed Organic certification to organic farmers and handlers with grass-fed livestock products.
The program builds on the requirements of the USDA National Organic Program. OTCO-certified organic farmers and handlers are eligible to receive a flat rate fee ($350) in addition to annual certification or certification application fees.
How much will my inspection cost?
The cost of your inspection will vary according to a number of factors including the size of the operation, location, inspector and preparedness of records. The full cost will be determined following the completion of your inspection and write up of the inspection report.
In general, the inspection fees include:
- An inspector’s time preparing, reviewing and completing the inspection report
- If performing an in-site inspection, all travel expenses including transport, lodging, and meals
- An administrative fee equal to 10 percent of the total cost of inspection
Whenever possible, OTCO attempts to combine inspection visits of operations in the same area to divide and minimize travel-related expenses.
Is there a cancellation fee if I need to reschedule my inspection?
Canceling an inspection with less than one (1) weeks notice from the date of the scheduled inspection will result in the assessment of any reimbursable expenses — i.e., travel expenses — incurred on the planned trip as well as inspector preparation time. If no other inspections are scheduled for your area, you will be assessed 100 percent of the reimbursable expenses and inspector preparation time. We understand you might be subject to unforeseen, challenging circumstances. We will accommodate situations on a case-by-case basis and ask for notification as soon as you are able to contact us.
Will I need to pay inspection fees again if I require a second inspection?
Yes. If additional scheduled inspections are required to demonstrate compliance or add new fields, sites or facilities, OTCO will bill for the inspection fee plus an additional 25 percent administration fee.
Do I have to pay for an unannounced inspection?
No. Additional fees are not assessed for unannounced inspections.
How do I calculate my fees?
In combination with the Fee Schedule, OTCO offers an easy online fee calculator which walks you through all the steps for determining all certification-related fees for your operation. Upon completion, you are able to submit online payment directly to OTCO for fast and efficient processing.
We offer a number of convenient options for making a payment.
We accept invoice payments via our website, check and telephone. In addition, our finance team is available to discuss possible payment plan options.
For online payments, include your invoice number, if available. An invoice number is not required to submit payment, but will help our finance department process your account accurately and quickly.
If you prefer for us to process payment via telephone, contact our finance team at (503) 378-0690.
For payments by check, include your invoice number in the memorandum, if available. Checks can be mailed to:
Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Attn: Finance Department
PO Box 368
Corvallis, OR 97339
Can I expedite my certification?
For new applicants or clients wishing to facilitate the addition of a new field, site, or facility on a compressed timeline, OTCO offers the option for expedited services.
The flat fee for expedited services (see Fee Schedule) will be charged in addition to a certification fee, inspection fee and — if applicable — a new applicant fee. Payment for expedited services is expected at the time of a new application submission or added service request.
How much does expedited certification cost?
A flat fee of $3,000 for expedited services is charged in addition to the certification service fee, inspection fee and, if applicable, new applicant fee. If applying for multiple certification services, such as farm and processing, the flat expedited service fee applies to each requested certification.
What is offered with the expedited fee?
As part of our expedited services process, OTCO provides the following:
- The application receives expedited attention for initial review and processing
- OTCO will secure an inspector immediately and inspection will occur as soon as possible
- The inspection report will be submitted within two (2) business days
- OTCO will review the inspection report within two (2) business days
- A summary of issues and concerns will be communicated following OTCO review, if necessary
- Certification will be awarded immediately upon completion of a clean review process
Does one fee cover all my applications?
No, if you are applying for certification under multiple scopes of certification — e.g., as a farm and a processor — the flat expedited service fee applies to all scopes of certification that you wish to expedite.
Can I request an exact date of certification?
Expedited service does not guarantee delivery of certification by a certain date. OTCO reserves the right to refuse service for expedited requests based on administrative capacity. In all cases where expedited services are requested, we will provide a timely response regarding our ability to meet the request.
Can I request expedited service for product additions and/or label reviews?
Yes. If you need a faster timeline, we provide expedited product and/or label reviews for $350 per request. Rush review does not guarantee approval and we will provide notice to all expedited requests within two (2) business days.
#Veteran and education fee waivers
Does OTCO offer any discounts to certification fees?
OTCO offers certification fee waivers for education programs and veteran-owned farms.
Veteran-owned farms with documentation of primary ownership by a military veteran are exempt from all certification base fee. New applicant and inspection costs will still apply.
OTCO is partnering with the Farmer Veteran Coalition(FVC) to extend fee waivers to all FVC members and is in pursuit of supporting education opportunities for farmer veterans.
Farms demonstrating exclusive use for public research, education, and benefit are eligible for exemption from all certification base fees. New applicant and inspection costs will still apply.
Are other reimbursements available for the remaining fees?
All of these fees (new applicant, inspection, expedited) are eligible for reimbursement via the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program.