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U.S. and Mexico collaborate on organic monitoring

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Staff Writer | October 20, 2016
As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow around the world, the USDA Organic Seal has become a leading global standard.
Elanor Starmer
Cooperation   USDA has established equivalency arrangements
USDA provides support for the vibrant organic sector, representing a retail market of over $43 billion in the United States alone.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is excited to announce another way we are helping organic producers reach new markets and offering consumers additional organic products.

We plan to establish a Joint Organic Compliance Committee in support of a potential organic equivalency arrangement between the United States and Mexico.

There is already a robust trade in agricultural products taking place between our two countries: Last year, the United States exported over $100 million of organic food products to Mexico – our third largest agricultural export market – and Mexico supplied the United States with food certified to the U.S. organic standards, including seasonal produce.

But this relationship would be further facilitated by an equivalency arrangement. Equivalency arrangements provide U.S. organic producers and handlers with access to a growing global organic market.

By allowing organic products certified in one country to be sold as organic in each participating market, they reduce the cost of duplicative certifications, fees and inspections.

In the past six years, USDA has established equivalency arrangements with Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea and Switzerland, providing U.S. organic farmers and businesses with streamlined access to international organic markets valued at over $35 billion.