At Bio-fach the largest Organic Trade Show in the world a historic partnership between the EU and the US was signed by Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and Kathleen Merrigan, U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary. The new arrangement, which comes into force 1 June, allows products certified as organic in the EU to be sold in the US and vice versa, eliminating significant barriers for producers. At present, a separate, additional certification is required, meaning additional costs and bureaucracy for organic farmers. To help reduce paperwork and expenses, the arrangement is simple in its aim: it recognizes that the EU and the US have credible organic certification systems and that we share common perspectives about what constitutes the production of organic products.
“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 Commissioner Cioloş. “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.
The EU and US represent the two biggest organic markets in the world, having a combined value of more than €43 billion. “This deal is good news for the 200,000 plus organic farmers in the EU where organic food production is growing annually” stated Gillian Westbrook, General Manager, IOFGA. “It is also good news for many Irish producers who wish to export to the US where Irish organic products are growing in demand. Dairy, beef and salmon producers and businesses have the potential to benefit from this deal. It also represents a stronger platform to promote organic food and farming to consumers both in the EU and the US” Westbrook stated.
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