U.S. and Japan agree to organic equivalency

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U.S. and Japan agree to organic equivalency

A product certified as organic in the U.S. will soon be allowed for sale as such in Japan without any extra paperwork, and vice versa for their counterparts across the Pacific Ocean. manzanas_83829601 _ small

The equivalency agreement will come into force on Jan. 1, 2014, and is expected to streamline U.S. farmers' and processors' access to the growing Japanese organic market, which is the largest of its kind in Asia.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said the deal reflected the strength of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) organic standards.

"It is a win for the American economy and sets the foundation for additional organic agricultural trade agreements in Asia. This partnership provides economic opportunities for farmers and small businesses, resulting in good jobs for Americans across the organic supply chain," Vilsack said in a release.
The USDA estimates the two countries' organics sectors to be worth US$36 billion. "Today's agreement will streamline access to the growing Japanese organic market for U.S. farmers and processors and eliminate significant barriers for small and medium organic producers, benefiting America's thriving organic industry," added United States Trade Representative Michael Froman.
"This represents another key step in strengthening our economic relationship with Japan by boosting agriculture trade between Japan and the United States, leading to more jobs and economic benefits for American farmers and businesses in this important sector."The agreement builds on previous U.S. equivalency arrangements with Canada and the European Union.


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