OneCert welcomes applicants from Stellar
Effective July 31, 2018, Stellar’s accreditation for NOP organic certification was surrendered. According to USDA instructions, operations currently certified by Stellar will have only 60 days (until September 30) to apply for certification with another certifier. Your new certifier is not allowed to use your previous Stellar inspection or certification to grant certification. It must treat you as a new applicant.
Reasons to choose OneCert
- The fee for a small farm is just $1000. After the $750 cost-share reimbursement, your out-of-pocket cost is only $250. Our complete fee schedule is included in our certification packet.
- OneCert will transcribe the information from your current OSP information to the OneCert forms. This will enable OneCert to process your application more efficiently so that we can schedule an inspection and make a certification decision in time for you to be eligible for cost-share reimbursement this year.
- OneCert’s fees have always included the cost of the inspection (both time and expenses) so that applicants always know the total cost of their annual certification when they apply.
- If you plan to maintain your Demeter biodynamic certification, OneCert will assign an inspector who can conduct a dual inspection.
- OneCert has been certifying all types of organic farms and handling operations since 2003. We will certify in any of the states in the USA. We also certify internationally.
- OneCert is a leader in organic hemp certification.
- OneCert requires operations to grow crops in soil–we do not certify hydroponics.
- We are offering to expedite the certification process for Stellar clients who apply to OneCert. This expedited service normally costs at least $600. It is being provided free to former Stellar clients.
Steps for successful transfer of your Stellar certification to OneCert:
- Do not surrender your Stellar NOP certification until you have been granted certification by OneCert. Your NOP certification does not expire. It remains valid until surrendered, suspended, or revoked.
- Submit your application to OneCert as soon as possible. There is limited time left to conduct your inspection during the 2018 growing season and grant certification so we need as much time as possible to get this done in a timely manner. This is especially important if you have made changes since your last inspection that need to be verified before we can update your certificate.
Organic cost-share reimbursement
OneCert has confirmed with the USDA that your existing certification from Stellar qualifies you for cost-share reimbursement for the certification fees paid to OneCert before September 30. (Payments made on or after October 1, 2018 will be eligible for reimbursement during the 2019 fiscal year.)
You are eligible for USDA cost-share reimbursement of 75% of your certification fees, up to $750 per scope.
On July 2, 2018, OneCert asked the USDA to allow operations with a current stock of Stellar labels sufficient time to use them up without penalty. This is a sound and sensible proposal that we expected the USDA to support. On July 13, 2018, the USDA informed certifiers that they would waive their previous requirement limiting use-up of labels to 90 days:
“NOP 2604: Instruction – Responsibilities of Certified Operations Changing Certifying Agents” currently allows certified operations to use existing supplies of labels identifying the prior certifier for no more than 90 days beyond the date that the certifier discontinued service or lost accreditation.
To facilitate an operation’s change in certifiers when a certifier is no longer accredited, NOP is waiving the 90 day constraint in NOP 2604, and certifiers may choose to allow the use up of existing supplies of labels identifying the prior certifier.
Certifiers that choose to approve the use-up of existing label supplies are to do the following:
- Verify existing supplies of labels identifying the prior certifier;
- Review the existing label(s) for compliance with the USDA organic regulations;
- To prevent consumer confusion, upon approving use of the label(s), in the Organic Integrity Database, note in the Additional Information column of the certified operation’s listing, “Previously certified organic by [Name of Certifier]”