European Union and United States Agree to Historic New Partnership on Organic Trade
February 15, 2012
NUREMBERG, Germany, Feb. 15, 2012
The European Union and the United States announced today that beginning June 1, 2012, organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region. This partnership between the two largest organic-producers in the world will establish a strong foundation from which to promote organic agriculture, benefiting the growing organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale.
The organics sector in the United States and European Union is valued at more than $50 billion combined, and rising every year.
Formal letters creating this partnership were signed on 15 February 2012 in Nuremberg, Germany, by Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development; Kathleen Merrigan, U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary; and Ambassador Isi Siddiqui, U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator. The signing took place at the BioFach World Organic Fair, the largest trade show for organic products in the world.
“This partnership connects organic farmers and companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a wide range of new market opportunities,” said U.S Deputy Agriculture Secretary Merrigan. “It is a win for the American economy and President Obama’s jobs strategy. 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 package, ship, and market organic products.”
"This agreement comes with a double added value. On the one hand, organic farmers and food producers will benefit from easier access, with less bureaucracy and less costs, to both the U.S. and the EU markets, strengthening the competitiveness of this sector. In addition, it improves transparency on organic standards, and enhances consumers' confidence and recognition of our organic food and products,” stated the EU Commissioner responsible for agriculture and rural development, Dacian Cioloş. "This partnership marks an important step, taking EU-U.S. agricultural trade relations to a new level of cooperation"