The European Union and the United States have signed an agreement that 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. In what is being called a “historic signing”, the two largest organic-producers in the world, have agreed that on and after June 1, 2012, organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region.
The organic produce must meet the terms of the new arrangement. Under the agreement, the EU will recognize the USDA National Organic Program as equivalent to the EU Organic Program and allow products produced and certified as meeting USDA standards to be marketed as organic in the EU. Likewise, the United States will allow European products produced and certified under the EU Organic Program to be marketed as organic in the United States.
Formal letters creating the partnership were signed Wednesday in Nuremberg, Germany, by Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, and U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Ambassador Isi Siddiqui,. Merrigan said - this partnership connects organic farmers and companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a wide range of new market opportunities.