The European Union and the United States announced yesterday that starting this summer, they will consider each other’s standards for organic certification equivalent.
After several audits of both parties’ organic programs, the EU and the U.S. found that their standards for organic certification were almost the same, except for their differing policies on antibiotics. USDA standards prohibit organic farmers from using antibiotics except in the case of fire blight in pear and apple orchards; European standards allow for antibiotics to be used in treating infected animals.
This new agreement is expected to make trade in organic products between the two economies a lot smoother, and help small and medium-sized farms in the U.S. and abroad. “This partnership will open new markets for American farmers and ranchers, create more opportunities for small businesses, and result in good jobs for Americans who package, ship, and market organic products,” said U.S. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
What might this mean for all those insatiable consumers of organic products here in the States? A flood of new chocolate, olive oil, and cheese from Europe could be on the horizon.