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New Opportunities for European Organic Farmers and Food Producers

Organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region starting on June 1, 2012, the EC informed.

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. 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 Commissioner Dacian Cioloş.

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 labeled as certified organic produce, meat, cereal, or wine.

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 rouhly 43 billion Euro combined, and rising every year.

Currently, this agreement only covers products exported from and certified in the United States or the European Union.

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