The United States and Japan announced the expansion of their organic equivalency agreement to include livestock products, the White House Commercial Representation (USTR, for its century in English) reported Tuesday.
The agreement takes effect on July 16, 2020, reduces costs and streamlines the process for anyone involved in the organic livestock supply chain by requiring only organic certification.
“Opening new markets for America’s organic farmers and ranchers remains a priority for the Department of Agriculture (USDA),” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach.
“Japan is already one of the main export markets for American organic products. This agreement opens up additional opportunities for everyone involved in the international livestock supply chain, from farm to table, “he said.
“Japan is a key international partner in the organic market sector,” said Gregg Doud, head of USTR agricultural negotiations.
“This expanded agreement protects and increases access for American farmers, ranchers and green businesses to the third largest organic export market in the United States,” he said.
The Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS) now require that organic livestock products imported from the United States be certified under the JAS or USDA organic regulations.
The announcement marks the addition of organic livestock to the existing organic trade agreement between the United States and Japan that has allowed plant-based products to be certified to any country’s organic standards since 2014.
The USDA has established equivalency agreements with major organic export markets, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
These arrangements eliminate the need for double certifications, avoiding double fees, inspections, and duplicate paperwork.
Prior to today’s announcement, technical experts from the United States and Japan conducted extensive on-site audits to ensure that regulations, quality control measures, certification requirements, and labeling practices are consistent.