Executive Director's Report
As 2021 winds down, we are spending time reflecting on the past year and considering our blessings: family, friends, health, safety, security...and high on our list - we are thankful for you, the organic community. Thanks to your year-round good and hard work, the organic industry is expanding and thriving, more people have organic options at their local farmers’ market or grocery store, and you’re sustaining and improving the land. Thank you for choosing to be certified organic and trusting MOSA to be your certifier.
As you know, organic operations are required to submit annual updates. If you prefer to update your records online, you can visit MyMOSA at any time to do so. If you prefer to work with paper, your mailing will arrive in mid-January. If you submit your updates and pay in full by February 15 you will receive an Early Bird discount on your annual certification fee. The deadline to submit your annual update is April 1.
As you fill out your annual update paperwork, you will notice that MOSA has restructured its fee schedule, which will result in fee increases for clients in 2022. In its efforts to protect organic integrity, since 2017 the USDA NOP has been requiring certifiers to perform additional unannounced inspections and residue testing, the cost of which we do not assess to the clients for which they are performed. We also are expecting new compliance requirements when the Strengthening Organic Enforcement (SOE) rules are implemented in 2022. We fully support these requirements as they will help protect the integrity of, and boost consumer confidence in, the Organic Seal. However, SOE will also increase staff and inspector time and expenses.
This will be our first fee adjustment in four years. We considered cost of living adjustments over the past four years and predictions for the next few. Over the past two years, we have been tracking the actual cost of certification (fees/time) for all clients, scopes and tiers. With this “true cost” information, instead of raising fees by a straight percentage, we strived to balance the fairness of fees for everyone.
With this balancing, some fee tiers and scopes will see greater increases than others. In addition to fairly balancing fee adjustments, we also greatly simplified our fee schedules by condensing tiers and by merging crop and livestock fee schedules. Organic Certification Cost Share is available to offset some of these increases. In addition the USDA has recently announced additional pandemic support for certified organic and transitioning operations. You can learn more here, or see the announcement inside this newsletter. Please let us know if you have questions, or need help, with Cost Share applications.
As always, if you have any questions or comments about anything in this newsletter – or about MOSA – please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 844-637-2526. Thank you for reading, and thanks for your continued commitment to organic integrity. Best wishes to you and yours for a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2022.