Middleton, WI (August 31, 2015) — What are the steps to getting certified organic? How are organic regulations different from licensing and food safety regulations that food manufacturing businesses already face? These questions and others will be addressed in workshops that the Organic Processing Institute (OPI) is holding in September.
The ever-growing list of farm and processing operations that are certified organic is soon to be available in a more user-friendly and up-to-date version. The National Organic Program (NOP) has been working with partners to re-issue the current "List of operations" as the "Organic Integrity Database."
Farms and businesses that are certified organic and incurred costs between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015 are eligible for reimbursement of up to 75% of fees paid to a maximum of $750 per scope.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has issued a call for proposals for their Value Added Grant Program.
The goal of this program is to increase the sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets, expanding access to markets and increasing food safety. Grant funds can be used to purchase and install equipment and/or make physical improvements to a business. Individuals, cooperatives, businesses or local government entities may apply.
On July 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the United States and Switzerland formed a partnership that will recognize the two countries' organic programs as equivalent for organic products and streamline access to each other's markets. The organic equivalency arrangement between the two nations will streamline organic trade, strengthen organic agriculture, benefit the growing organic community, and support jobs and businesses on a global scale.
The Organic Processing Institute is here to help you navigate a path to successful organic processing in the Midwest. We help forge links among organic farmers and processors to ensure sustainable success. Whether you are a current processor or want to become one, we can help you thrive.