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For Immediate Release: August 26, 2005                                      
NR05 -16


HONOLULU – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has renewed a cooperative grant program with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to continue a cost-sharing assistance program for certification of organic farmers and handlers.  The $40,000 grant, which is part of USDAÂ’s National Organic Program (NOP), extends the application period from
October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2008. 

The NOP was established under the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) of 1990 and requires certification of organic farmers and those who handle agricultural products that are intended to be sold, labeled or represented as “100 percent organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic ingredients” or food groups. 

“Organic certification helps to assure foods that are marketed as organic meet consistent and uniform standards,” said Sandra Lee Kunimoto, Chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “This grant program helps to encourage compliance with federal organic standards by helping to defray the cost of certification.”

Under the grant program, organic producers and handlers may apply for reimbursement of up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification by USDA accredited certifying agents. Cost-share assistance is limited to the amount of the grant and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and will be determined by either the applicationÂ’s postmarked date or date received, whichever is earlier.  Grants are limited to one award per company during this grant period.

Application forms may be downloaded from the HDOAÂ’s  website at:

Interested parties may also obtain an application and instructions by contacting the Market Development Branch at (808) 973-9595.  For additional assistance, contact Larry Yamamoto, Economic Development Specialist at (808) 973-9591 or e-mail:  [email protected]

USDA previously awarded a $40,000 grant for the same program from October 1, 2002 to September 30, 2004.  During that period, 123 qualifying organic producers or handlers received reimbursements before funding was depleted.  Reimbursements are being limited to one per company during this grant period in order to assist as many organic operations as possible. It is estimated that the actual reimbursement amounts for qualified applicants will range from about $375 to a maximum of $500.


For more information, contact:

Janelle Saneishi
Public Information Officer
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Phone: (808) 973-9560
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