Understanding Fees

Vermont Organic Farmers offers a transparent certification fee structure. We are committed to a certification fee structure that allows the producer to calculate their fees prior to engaging in the application process. VOF has competitively priced organic certification fees, keeping costs low and services local. We value our community of organic farmers and processors in Vermont and work towards keeping organic certification financially accessible.

 

VOF Certification Fee Schedule

Range of Anticipated Gross Sales/Services Base (subtract) Multiplier Rate Base Fee
 Up to $14,999  - $0.00  x 0 (0.000%)  + $567.00
 $15,000-$99,999  - $15,000.00  x 0.00428 (0.428%)  + $567.00
 $100,000-$499,999  - $100,000.00  x 0.00353 (0.353%)  + $931.00
 $500,000-$999,999  - $500,000.00  x 0.00268 (0.268%)  + $2,373.00
 $1,000,000-$2,999,999  - $1,000,000.00  x 0.00187 (0.187%)  + $3,673.00
 $3,000,000-$15,000,000  - $3,000,000.00  x 0.000072 (0.0072%)  + $7,423.00
 More than $15,000,000  - $15,000,000.00  x 0 (0.000%)  + $16,050.00

All producers pay a base fee, which is the maximum possible fee in the previous tier, plus an assessment on gross organic sales/services based on their projected gross sales for the calendar year (if gross sales exceeds $15,000). Please note: the maximum fee is $16,050.

All renewing/continuing applicants should determine their fee based on their anticipated gross sales of certified organic products for the calendar year. If projected sales are grossly over or under-estimated, adjustments to the fee can be made at the end of the same calendar year in which the application was submitted, as long as fees have not been reimbursed

All new applicants, regardless of the time of year that they apply, should determine their fee based on their anticipated gross organic sales for the calendar year in which they apply. All new applicants will reapply as continuing applicants during the next year’s scheduled renewal cycle and will be required to pay the certification fee associated with the renewal application at that time.

 

Estimate Your VOF Certification Fee

More Details
Potential Additional Fees
  • Late fee: A late fee of $75 will be charged for any application post marked after the application due date.
  • Supplemental fee: A supplemental certification fee will be charged for any applicant who requires additional work by the Review Committee or Certification Inspector.  Conditions that may require a supplemental fee are as follows: a repeat inspection to gather new information or to inspect another part of the farming operation (e.g. maple production in one season, crop production in another season); an additional audit trail review of a farm or processing application; out of state travel; or inspection of a farmer/processor whose facilities are in different locations.  The supplemental fee is $300.00 to cover the inspector’s salary and administrative costs.
  • 100% Grass Fed Certification Fee: If you are requesting Grass Fed Certification through VOF this year, please add an additional $150 to your fee total to cover administrative and inspection costs associated with obtaining 100% Grass Fed Certification.
  • Expedited Service Fee: Granting certification is dependent upon an operation's ability to comply with the organic standards. An expedited service fee will be charged for any applicant who is capable of compliance but has not allowed sufficient turn-around time for certification and subsequently requests expedited service. An expedited application will be reviewed by the VOF office and sent to the inspector within 2 days of receiving the application in the office. Once the inspection report is returned to the office, the final review will be completed and the certificate issued within 2 days, assuming that the operation complies with organic regulations. The expedited service fee of $300, will be charged in addition to the supplemental fee when applicable and will ensure that your application becomes top priority.
  • Reinstatement Fee: If an operation’s organic certification has been suspended or revoked for any reason and the required suspension or revocation time frame has passed, the operation may request reinstatement of their certification. A $300 reinstatement fee will be charged in these situations. This fee is in addition to the supplemental fee when applicable. 
  • Inspection Cancellation Fee: If the producer cancels the scheduled on-site inspection after the inspector has arrived, a cancellation fee may be charged. In this case, the fee amount is variable and will be calculated based on the cost of the inspector’s time and mileage.
Certification Cost Share Programs

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) offers funding assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to all VOF certified producers.

Certified organic operations may receive reimbursement of up to 50% of their direct certification costs paid between October 1 and September 30 annually, not to exceed $500 per certification scope. There are up to four eligible certification scopes (crops, livestock, wild crops, and handling). Please note that available funds for this program are reduced from previous years. Reimbursement is available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

As a certified producer with VOF you will receive information about applying for both of these programs when applications open.

Overdue Payments
  • All Applicants: A minimum payment of half of the total certification fee due must be submitted with the application. If the required minimum payment is not submitted the application will be considered incomplete and may result in suspension or denial of your certification.
  • Continuing Applicants: If payment is not submitted in full with the application, applicants will have until October 1 of the same year to pay the remaining balance. If the balance of certification fees due is not paid by October 1, it may result in the suspension of your certification.
  • New Applicants: If payment is not submitted in full with the application, any remaining balance is due by October 1 of the same year. If applying after October 1, payment in full is due at the time of application submission. If the balance of certification fees due is not paid in the timeframe stated above it may result in suspension or denial of your certification
Refund Policy

All financial information is confidential. Please note that VOF does not refund overpayments of $20 or less.

If upon administrative review, you are clearly ineligible for certification your fee will be refunded, except for a $100 fee for processing the application. In addition, if you choose to withdraw or surrender your application refunds will be issued in the following way: 

Withdrawals & Denials

You may choose to withdraw your application at any time. If you choose to withdraw your application prior to the Initial Review your fee will be refunded, except for a $25 administrative fee. If you choose to withdraw, your application or your application is denied prior to being inspected, your fee will be refunded, except for a $100 fee for processing the application. If you choose to withdraw your application or your application is denied after your operation has been inspected, your fee will not be refunded. 

Surrenders

You may choose to surrender your certification at any time. 

For farmers: If you choose to surrender your certification prior to July 31st, and your operation has not yet been inspected your fee will be refunded, except for a $100 fee for processing the application. If you decide to surrender your certification after your operation has been inspected your fee will not be refunded. If you decide to surrender your certification after July 31st, your fee will not be refunded, regardless of whether or not your operation has been inspected for the season. 

For processors: If you choose to surrender your certification prior to December 15th, and your operation has not yet been inspected your fee will be refunded, except for a $100 fee for processing the application. If you decide to surrender your certification after your operation has been inspected your fee will not be refunded. If you decide to surrender your certification after December 15th, your fee will not be refunded, regardless of whether or not your operation has been inspected for the season. Applicants who reapply for certification after surrendering, suspension, or revocation must pay any outstanding fees before certification will be granted.