EU and US strike organic partnership

21 February, 2012

The European Union and the USA have agreed a new partnership on organic trade, which will enable products to be sold in either region without needing additional certification.

Beginning on 1 June, organic products certified in Europe, can also be sold as organic in the US, and vice versa.

Previously, growers and companies wanting to trade products on both sides of the Atlantic had to obtain separate certifications, which meant a double set of fees, inspections, and paperwork.

According to the European Commission, this partnership between the two largest organic producers in the world “will establish a strong foundation from which to promote organic agriculture, benefiting the growing organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale”.

The combined value of the EU and US organic markets is estimated at around €40bn (£33.5bn).

Dacian Cioloş, EU commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development, said: “This agreement comes with a double added value. On the one hand, organic farmers and food producers will benefit from easier access to both the US and the EU markets, with less bureaucracy and fewer costs, strengthening the competitiveness of this sector.

“In addition, it improves transparency on organic standards, and enhances consumers’ confidence and recognition of our organic food and products.”

Formal letters creating the partnership were signed on 15 February in Nuremberg, Germany at the BioFach World Organic Fair, the largest trade show for organic products in the world.





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