Organic certification, as noted above, is time-consuming, but it’s also flat out expensive for many growers and handlers. Not only are first-time certification costs steep, averaging around $700 to $1,200 per operation, but there are other certification costs involved as well. Some of the major certification costs include renewal certification costs, education, suitable organic land, livestock from organic origins, organic seed, and special processing equipment.
From growers to processors, most organic certified operations need special land and/or facilities before they can produce food. Organic land costs much more than conventional farmland because there’s a long list of qualities that organic land must possess. This applies to organic land used for crops or livestock.
On top of land issues, many organic operations are so small that they don’t warrant a full-scope manufacturing facility of their own, which means either locating an organic operation with which they can share space or purchasing special equipment for a conventional facility. If an organic company shares space with a conventional company, more time must be spent making sure that products aren’t mixed, or if they are mixed, that processing machines are properly cleaned before they’re used for organics.