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On-Farm Processing Update

This message is to notify you of an update in the Organic Grower Plan and fee structure for activities that constitute On-Farm Processing of certified organic crops. If your operation produces product ingredients on-farm under the same ownership and management as the farm operation, this update may apply to you. On-Farm Processing activities:

  • Sanitizing, curing, drying, dehydrating, cutting, grinding, shelling, de-hulling, de-pulping, ripening, mixing raw agricultural ingredients, crushing to extract oil
  • use of handling equipment such as a sorting machine, shaker table, or gravity separator
  • packaging raw agricultural products into retail containers using a packing line or packing equipment
  • Consist entirely of certified organic ingredients/products that are produced on that farm

If you find your activities are now categorized as On-Farm Processing, at the time of your next annual renewal, you must complete the On-Farm Processing section of the OGP and are subject to $180 On-Farm Processing fee. All activities must be described in the organic plan in sufficient detail to evaluate compliance. Examples of Post-Harvest activities that are not subject to the updated fee structure:

  • Crop storage;
  • Washing crops in water only;
  • Field packing into retail or wholesale containers;
  • Packing crops into retail or wholesale containers in an on-site packing shed without the use of a packing line or other sorting or packing equipment;
  • Adding an inoculant and storing crops for silage;
  • Fermenting fruit or vegetable pulp for seed saving

Our Grower-Livestock fee structure has been updated to clarify what activities constitute the simple On-Farm Processing of organic crops. In contrast, operations that conduct complex processing are not eligible for On-Farm Processing and must instead submit the Organic Handling Plan (OHP) and applicable Handler/Processor Certification fee.

Some examples of these activities include:

  • Include any complex processing activities such as baking, churning, extracting, slaughtering, distilling, eviscerating, preserving, freezing, canning, jarring, and/or aseptic packaging
  • Use any ingredients that are not produced on-farm

Please reach out with any questions at qcs@qcsinfo.org.

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