U.S., Japan expand organic trade pact to include livestock

-The Hagstrom Report

Livestock has been added to the list of products included in the U.S.-Japan organic trade arrangement that may be certified to either country’s organic standards for sale as organic in both markets, the Agriculture Department said.

“Opening new markets for America’s organic farmers and ranchers continues to be a priority for USDA,” said the USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Undersecretary Greg Ibach.

“Japan is already one of the top export markets for U.S. organic products. This agreement opens additional opportunities for everyone involved in the international supply chain for livestock, from farm to table.”

“Japan is a key international partner in the organic market sector,” said U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud. “This expanded arrangement protects and increases access for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to the third largest U.S. organic export market.”

Equivalency arrangements reduce required certification costs, fees, inspections and paperwork for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses across the supply chain, USDA said.

The Organic Trade Association welcomed the expansion of the agreement to include organic livestock.

“Japan is the third largest export market for the U.S. organic sector, buying more than $50 million worth of U.S. grown and produced organic products last year,” the group said.

“This expansion reduces costs and streamlines the process for the organic livestock supply chain. It will benefit U.S. organic farmers and ranchers, and will give Japanese consumers greater access to sought-after American organic products. It’s a win-win for both countries.”