Canada and the U.S. have announced an agreement designed to promote continued growth of the organic market in North America, by allowing the smooth flow of certified organic products between the two countries.
The agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the first such equivalency agreement in the world. As of July 1 certified organic products will move freely across the border if they feature either the Canada Organic Biologique label or USDA Organic seal.
The new agreement also means that certified producers do not have to double-certify their products when they are exported and imported across the border in order to meet that country’s labelling requirements. It’s hoped this will increase consumer access to a wider range of more affordable products and a more reliable supply chain.
“This is the first step toward global harmonization of organic standards, and marks an historic moment for the organic community,” says USDA deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan. The official signing came during the All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show in Chicago.