US: Streamlines organic trade with Japan
The United States and Japan have agreed to streamline organic trade across the Pacific from the beginning of next year, in a move that means products certified in either country can also be sold in the other.
US trade representative Michael Froman said the agreement will make it easier for US farmers and processors to access the Japanese organic market and eliminate significant barriers for small and medium organic producers.
The partnership comes into effect from 1 January 2014, and will provide businesses to access Asia's largest organic market. Combined, the organics sector in the US and Japan is valued at more than $36bn, and rising every year.
Without an equivalency arrangement in place, organic farmers and businesses wanting to sell products - including fibres and textiles - in either country had to obtain separate certifications to meet each country's organic standards. This typically has meant two sets of fees, inspections, and paperwork.
Similar to previous US equivalency arrangements with Canada and the European Union, this trade partnership with Japan eliminates significant barriers, especially for small and medium-sized organic producers.
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