U.S. & EU Organic Trade Partnership
Yesterday’s announcement by the United States and the European Union that as of June 1, organic products certified in the U.S. or in Europe may be sold as organic in either region is very good news for organic producers here in Washington, as organic cherries, apples, and pears have been top exports to the EU. U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, who took part in signing the historic organic equivalence agreement, spoke afterwards about present and future types of products to be imported and exported between the two regions.
MERRIGAN: We know that we have been exporting to the EU cherries for example, organic cherries have been particularly popular. In turn, coming into our country one of the things we’re thinking will be really exciting for American consumers is the ability to have chocolates and olive oil; some of the products that will expand their offerings on the grocery shelves coming in as organic.
Miles McEvoy, Deputy Administrator of the USDA’s National Organic Program, also at the signing, talked about how this partnership will eliminate significant barriers for organic producers and processors.
MCEVOY: It’s been incredibly difficult with the old regulatory structure for products to be traded that are multi-ingredient between the EU and US. And this eliminates much of that bureaucracy so that there’s one set of standards that a processor needs to comply with to get access to both markets.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.