Europe and US sign trade agreement over organic products
The European Union and the United States has announced that organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region.
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 organics sector in the United States and European Union is valued at roughly €40 billion combined, and rising every year.
Formal letters creating this partnership were signed this week in Nuremberg, Germany, by Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; Kathleen Merrigan, U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary; and Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
The signing took place at the BioFach World Organic Fair, the largest trade show for organic products in the world.
"This agreement comes with a double added value. On the one hand, organic farmers and food producers will benefit from easier access, with less bureaucracy and less costs, to both the U.S. and the EU markets, 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," stated the EU Commissioner responsible for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Cioloş. "This partnership marks an important step, taking EU-U.S. agricultural trade relations to a new level of cooperation"
"This partnership connects organic farmers and companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a wide range of new market opportunities," said U.S Deputy Agriculture Secretary Merrigan. "It is a win for the American economy and President Obama's jobs strategy. This partnership will open new markets for American farmers and ranchers, create more opportunities for small businesses, and result in good jobs for Americans who package, ship, and market organic products."
Previously, growers and companies wanting to trade products on both sides of the Atlantic had to obtain separate certifications to two standards, which meant a double set of fees, inspections, and paperwork. This partnership eliminates significant barriers, especially for small and medium-sized organic producers. All products meeting the terms of the partnership can be traded and labelled as certified organic produce, meat, cereal, or wine.
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