Revisions to NOP Organic Fee Structure and Refund Policy

Revisions to NOP Organic Fee Structure and Refund Policy
Jonathan - Thu Jun 29, 2017 @ 11:35AM
Comments: 0

July 1, 2017 

We have made recent changes to our NOP Organic Fee Schedule and Refund Policy and are informing you of these changes which will go into effect for your operation during your next renewal cycle which occurs after July 1, 2017.Your base costs of organic certification are not changing. What is changing is our refund policy and that we are now implementing some contractual penalties for a failure to abide by the USDA NOP organic regulations. We have considered the charging of contractual penalties for some time but have not done so because we do not want to add to the burden of the costs of certification, but it appears that some operations are incurring repeated Notices of Noncompliance for a failure to abide by aspects of the organic regulations, which requires substantial additional staff work to resolve once identified. In some cases, these Noncompliances repeat from year to year. It is hoped that charging a contractual penalty for noncompliances will encourage operations to more fully understand and consistently comply with the USDA NOP organic regulations. We would prefer not to collect a single contractual penalty for a noncompliance with the organic standards. It is our hope that this process will instead act to encourage operations to be appropriately diligent in their understanding of and compliance with the USDA NOP organic standards. It will also mean we do not have to raise certification fees for all operations due to the additional work created by the operations which consistently have challenges understanding and complying with the USDA organic standards. Instead, the costs of that additional work will be properly allocated to the operations which are not complying consistently with the standards. A copy of the complete notice can be found here: 070117_Announcement_re_Changes_to_Fee_Schedule_and_Refund_Policy.pdf

Tags: NOP, fees, organic
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