EU and USA create an organic certification partnership

The European Union and the United States signed a formal partnership at the BioFach World Organic Fair, granting organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region, as of June 2012.Previously, growers and companies wanting to trade...

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EU and USA create an organic certification partnership



Balkans.com Business news correspondent - 20.02.2012

The European Union and the United States signed a formal partnership at the BioFach World Organic Fair, granting organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region, as of June 2012.
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. This partnership between the two largest organic-producers in the world will benefit the growing organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale. It is hoped that the partnership will also establish a strong foundation from which to promote organic agriculture. 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 on 15 February 2012 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. Leading up to today’s historic announcement, both parties conducted thorough onsite audits to ensure that their programs' regulations, quality control measures, certification requirements, and labelling practices were compatible. AntibioticsAlthough there are small differences between the U.S. and European Union organic standards, both parties individually determined that their programs were equivalent except for the prohibition on the use of antibiotics. The USDA organic regulations prohibit the use of antibiotics except to control invasive bacterial infections (fire blight) in organic apple and pear orchards. The European Union organic regulations allow antibiotics only to treat infected animals. For all products traded under this partnership, certifying agents must verify that antibiotics were not used for any reason. Source: Black Sea Grain


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