U.S. and Canada agree on organic standards

A historic deal was signed by the USDA and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, allowing certified organic products with the organic label from either country to be sold on the other side of the border.

Under terms of the agreement, announced at the All Things Organic Trade Show last week, foods that are certified by the National Organic Program do not have to become certified by the Canada Organic Product Regulation, reports the Brattleboro Reformer.

USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service office in Ottawa estimates that more than 80 percent of Canada's organic consumption comes from imports and about 75 percent of those imports come from the U.S.

Trade flows between the countries have been difficult to track because there had not been a standard code for organic products between the two countries.

"The production of organic foods is a vibrant growth opportunity for American agriculture, and by agreeing on a common set of organic principles with Canada, we are expanding market opportunities for our producers to sell their products abroad," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.