Eu Us Organic Trade Agreement

The EU-US Organic Trade Agreement: What You Need to Know

In today`s world, consumers are increasingly interested in healthy, organic products that are grown and made in a sustainable way. This trend is not only happening in the EU but also in the US, where people are starting to pay more attention to what they put in their bodies. To meet this growing demand, the EU and US have signed a landmark agreement that will allow organic products to flow more easily between the two regions.

The EU-US Organic Trade Agreement (OTA) was signed on 21 February 2019 after several years of negotiations. The agreement aims to streamline the process of organic certification, eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and make it easier for organic farmers and companies to export their products to the US and EU.

The OTA covers a range of products, including:

– Organic plant and animal products

– Processed agricultural products, such as pasta, breakfast cereals, and cookies

– Wine

– Beer

– Spirits

The agreement also includes provisions for the recognition of other organic certification systems, meaning that products certified by other countries` systems may be sold as organic products in the US and EU.

Why is the EU-US OTA important?

The EU and US are two of the world`s largest markets for organic products, with a combined market size of over $50 billion. However, until now, exporters of organic products faced different organic certification standards and procedures when exporting to the US and EU. This made it more difficult and costly for them to do business across the Atlantic, which affected both producers and consumers.

By harmonizing the standards and procedures for organic certification, the EU-US OTA will benefit not only organic farmers and companies but also consumers. It will lead to greater transparency, traceability and consistency in the production and trade of organic products, which will increase consumer confidence in the sector.

What are the key features of the EU-US OTA?

The EU-US OTA includes several important features, such as:

– A mutual recognition agreement (MRA) for organic standards: This means that organic products certified under the USDA National Organic Program in the US and the EU`s organic regulations will be recognized as equivalent, and can be sold as organic in both regions.

– Equivalence arrangements: This applies to organic certification systems from other countries, which will be recognized as equivalent if they meet certain criteria.

– Transparency and cooperation: The OTA includes provisions for greater cooperation between the US and EU to ensure the implementation and enforcement of organic standards.

– A joint committee: A joint committee will be established to oversee the implementation of the OTA and to address any issues that may arise.

What are the benefits of the EU-US OTA?

The EU-US OTA has many benefits for both organic producers and consumers, such as:

– Reduced costs and streamlined processes for organic certification, making it easier for organic producers to export their products to the US and EU.

– Greater transparency and traceability in the production and trade of organic products, giving consumers more confidence in the sector.

– Increased market access and opportunities for organic producers in both regions, which will help to drive economic growth and support rural communities.

– Better cooperation and alignment on organic regulations and standards, which will promote the development of sustainable agriculture and food systems.

In conclusion, the EU-US OTA is a significant step forward for the organic sector and for trade relations between the US and EU. By harmonizing organic certification standards and procedures, the agreement will make it easier and more affordable for organic producers to export their products to the US and EU, and will increase consumer confidence in the sector. Ultimately, the EU-US OTA will support the growth of organic agriculture and sustainable food systems on both sides of the Atlantic.