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Same Organic Standards in US, Canada in Future

19 June 2009

GLOBAL - The US and Canada have reached agreement for organic trade equivalence between the US National Organic Program and the Canada Organic Product Regulation.

The American Meat Institute reports that agreement has been reached between the United States and Canada that will expand opportunities for organic producers in both countries, Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Kathleen Merrigan, has announced.

Following a review by both nations of the other's organic certification programme, an "equivalency agreement" has been reached, allowing products meeting the organic standards in the United States to be sold as organic in Canada and vice versa. Ms Merrigan made this announcement at the All Things Organic Trade Show and Conference in Chicago.

Under a determination of equivalence, producers and processors that are certified to the National Organic Program (NOP) standards by a US Department of Agriculture accredited certifying agent do not have to become certified to the Canada Organic Product Regulation (COPR) standards in order for their products to be represented as organic in Canada. Likewise, Canadian organic products certified to COPR standards may be sold or labelled in the United States as organically produced.

Both the USDA Organic seal and the Canada Organic Biologique logo may be used on certified products from both countries. The COPR goes into effect on 30 June.

Canada is the largest US trade partner and largest estimated export market for US organic products.

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