CCOF announces an exciting opportunity for our members – AMS will issue up to $75 million in competitive grants (between $100,000 and $3,000,000) to fund projects designed to expand and improve markets for domestically produced organic products.
Apply on https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=organic%20market now through 11:59 p.m. ET July 10, 2023.
Eligible applicants for Organic Market Development grants include business entities (regardless of legal structure) who produce or handle organic foods. Producer and handler applicants must either be certified to the USDA organic standards or in transition to organic certification, consistent with 7 C.F.R. §205. Such applicants must be registered in the Organic INTEGRITY Database before the date of the Notice of Award. This requirement does not apply to non-profit or government entities.
Eligible applicants also include non-profit or government entities. Eligible government entities include but are not limited to state, territory, and local government entities such as economic development authorities and regional conservation districts. Eligible non-profit entities may include trade associations. AMS may prioritize funding to individual or groups of agricultural producers majority-controlled producer-based ventures, farmer or rancher-controlled cooperatives, or government entities.
These funding opportunities are part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic Transition Initiative, launched in fall 2022, which is a suite of offerings to help existing organic farmers and those transitioning to organic production and processing.
The goal of this program is to support the development of new and expanded organic markets by providing additional resources for businesses transitioning to organic or initiating new organic production and processing capacity. These investments in certified organic infrastructure, expanding capacity for aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, distribution, or consumer markets, and supporting activities which develop new markets, are anticipated to increase demand for domestically produced organic agricultural products and provide additional market paths.
“As USDA works to help make our nation’s food system more resilient and create more options for producers and consumers, we recognize the important role the organic industry can play in expanding opportunities for value-added agriculture, strengthening supply chains and generating revenue for farmers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “For many farmers, the transition period before attaining organic certification can be cost-prohibitive, so USDA is also helping mitigate the risk involved for farmers who want to be able to grow and market organic crops.”