Organic Food/Agriculture

US, Japan Sign Organic Products Trade Agreement

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TESTINGJapan is the latest country to sign an organic trade agreement with the US, and the first in Asia. As of January 1, 2014 certified organic products can move freely between the US and Japan, growing markets, organic jobs across the supply chain and organic farming acreage in both countries. It makes it much easier and cheaper for organic producers to export – it relieves them from having to get organic certification separately in both countries while ensuring the organic integrity of products. The result is higher profits for producers and lower retail prices. Green tea, sake and mushrooms are currently the most popular organic exports from Japan to the US, according to the USDA. The US exports $80 million worth of organic products to Japan each year – much more than it imports. US organic exports to Japan include soybeans, cauliflower, nuts and processed products such as frozen meals. USDA estimates this agreement could more than triple those sales to $250 million a year over the next 10 years, reports Associated Press. Equivalency agreements are signed after assessments conclude that both countries have “equivalent” programs for organic certification in terms of what it takes to get certified, managed and enforced. Although programs may not be identical, they achieve the same objectives and maintain the high-quality standards important to the integrity of both programs. Under the agreement, Japan’s Ministry […]

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