Organic growers in the U.S. and European Union will now be able to sell food labeled organic in both markets.
In the past, organic growers have had to obtain separate certifications for each standard, meaning two sets of fees, inspections and paperwork.
The equivalency partnership went into effect June 1 after Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan signed formal letters creating the partnership in February, along with Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator.
“This partnership will open new markets for American farmers and ranchers, create more opportunities for small businesses, and result in good jobs for Americans who grow, package, ship, and market organic products," Merrigan said.
The U.S. signed a similar partnership with Canada in 2009 and is considering a similar arrangement with Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.