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U.S., Canada Reach Agreement for Organic Trade Equivalence

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

(American Meat Institute)

An agreement has been reached between the United States and Canada that will expand opportunities for organic producers in both countries, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today.

 Following a review by both nations of the other’s organic certification program, an “equivalency agreement” has been reached, allowing products meeting the organic standards in the United States to be sold as organic in Canada and vice versa.  Merrigan made this announcement at the All Things Organic Trade Show and Conference in Chicago.

Under a determination of equivalence, producers and processors that are certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) standards by a U.S. Department of Agriculture accredited certifying agent do not have to become certified to the Canada Organic Product Regulation (COPR) standards in order for their products to be represented as organic in Canada.  Likewise, Canadian organic products certified to COPR standards may be sold or labeled in the United States as organically produced.  Both the USDA Organic seal and the Canada Organic Biologique logo may be used on certified products from both countries.  The COPR goes into effect June 30.

Canada is the largest U.S. trade partner and largest estimated export market for U.S. organic products.

For more information, go to www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

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