EU and US Mutually Recognize Organic Standards (Feb 2012)
Updates and Sector News
In September 2011, we reported on efforts, centered around IFOAM, to unite the world of organic standards by mutual recognition agreements and organic meta-standards. In a major break through, after years of negotiations, the US and EU agreed to mutually recognize each other’s government approved organic certifications. The agreement takes effect June 2012, and will allow products which adhere to the European Commission’s organic regulations to be recognized as organic by the US Department of Agriculture and vice versa. Various parts of the organic sectors in both the EU and the US and the respective governmental agencies have long complained that the other side’s standards and certification methods are not rigorous enough. The two sides have agreed to mutually recognize and this should provide a boost to importers and exporters in the sector – a major cost for global organic suppliers is to gain certification to multiple standards. A similar agreement was enacted between the EU and Canada in September 2011, while the US and Canada have a mutual recognition agreement in place. The focus will now be on organic standards in the Chinese and Asian markets and the EU/US.
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