E.U. importers believe new organic accord will boost U.S. trade
U.K. top fruit importer Empire World Trader, which supplies retailers Marks & Spencer and Waitrose, described the new agreement as a positive step.
Technical manager Angus Calder, said his company currently only imports apples form the U.S. but welcomed the new synergy.
“In the past American fruit was not as organic as European, they were allowed to use some more things. Now it’s all on a level playing field and it’s organic in both markets; it obviously helps growers supply the E.U.”
Dutch business Berrico Food Company BV sources fresh and dried cranberries, dried blueberries and frozen blueberries worldwide for the food industry.
Berrico purchasing manager Rosita Chang said her company currently imports from Canada but not from the U.S.
“We might consider importing something, it depends on the price and availability and what we are looking for. Generally speaking I welcome equivalency, it makes importing easier and more accessible and helps improve frequency.”
Tradin Organic Agriculture BV – a subsidiary of Canadian SunOpta Inc – sources nuts, frozen, dried and fruit concentrates from its own companies worldwide.
Commercial import manager Barend Reijn said he was pleased about the accord.
“Certainly it’s a good thing, more equivalency between certification agreements provides mutual opportunities.”
Dutch organic importer Bio-center Zann owner Ingrid Rog, whose company supplies major European supermarket chains such as Germany’s Plus, was also positive.
“I hope it will help us. I hope the U.S. standards will be the same for growers in Holland who can send organic produce over there.”
But she said currently the U.S. was not an attractive option because of the distance and the dollar’s strength against the euro.
The U.S. signed a similar partnership with Canada in July 2009, and additional equivalency arrangement conversations have begun with South Korea, Taiwan and Japan.
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