There are a lot of rules and regulations producing for organic food markets. Exporting to other countries has generally just added to the complications. Now Canadian organic farmers who by definition produce non-gmo grains and oilseeds have access to a huge, rich market, Europe. The deal was announced this month.
For many an interest in organics has to do with food safety. I think land management may be even more important. To lessen insect, weed, and disease problems organic farmers use longer rotations (a commercial crop is grown every four or five, even seven years, rather than two or three), and organic farming demands high levels of organic material in the soil which is important for soil conservation.
Here's the information on the new trade deal.
Organic deal reached with EU
by Allison Finnamore
Certified organic products can now flow freely between Canada and the European Union.
The Canada-European Union Organic Equivalency Arrangement was finalized last week, the outcome of an extensive analysis of the Canadian and EU organic production and certification systems. The arrangement will allow the import and export of certified organic products between Canada and the EU without the need for additional certification. Certified organic products can now carry the Canadian and/or the EU organic logo.
The Canadian Organic Trade Association says that global organic trade is estimated at over $55 billion per year, with 96 per cent of this represented by the U.S. and EU markets.
This is Canada's second such agreement. In June 2009, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture signed the first organic equivalency arrangement, which opened the U.S. organic market to Canadian exports.
Matthew Holmes, executive director of the Canada Organic Trade Association calls the agreement with the EU a game-changer for Canadian farmers and manufacturers.
"With full access to European markets, suppliers and ingredients, Canada's organic sector now has a strategic edge. This agreement will increase trade and boost Canada's organic sector, from the farm to the consumer," he says in a news release.
"The European Union is the single largest market for organic products in the world. [The] announcement is good news for Canadian producers and workers as it provides easier access to these consumers with less red tape," says International Trade Minister Ed Fast in a news release.
The Organic Trade Association calculates the Canadian organic market has grown from $2 billion in 2008 to over $2.6 billion in 2010. Canadian companies annually export over $390 million worth of organic commodities, ingredients and products to the U.S., EU and other parts of the world.
"This recognition of Canada's organic standards by both the EU and U.S. shows that Canada's organic standards are among the best in the world," Holmes says.