US and EU Announce Organic Partnership

In a meeting in Nuremberg, Germany, trade representatives from the European Union and the United States signed an agreement pledging to jointly certify organic agricultural products. The agreement is being heralded on both sides of the Atlantic as in important step towards creating a more sustainable agricultural future, as well as a way to boost struggling Western economies.

The agreement, signed by Dacian Ciolos, the European Commissioner for Agricultural and Rural Development, Kathleen Merrigan, the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Isi Siddiqui, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator, would standardize organic certification in the U.S. and the EU. Products sold as organic in the U.S. would be jointly sold as organic in EU countries, and vice versa.

The agreement has been promoted as a major boon to organic producers and to the larger U.S.-EU economies. Organic producers, representatives argue, will benefit from reduced bureaucracies, reduced trade barriers and trade costs, and increased market access.

In addition, the agreement would greatly benefit struggling American and European economies. USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan praised the agreement, stating, “This partnership connects organic farmers and companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a wide range of new market opportunities. 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.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer