The Organic Trade Association has been advocating for the establishment of organic export codes for a number of years. On Oct. 20, 2010 Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision to establish trade codes for select organic products. The new codes are an invaluable tool for the industry as the data gathered on organic international trade will help everyone get a better overall picture of where, and in what quantity, U.S. organic companies export. This, in turn, will lead to more targeted assistance from USDA and OTA, and will help make the case for more fair-share funding to support organic trade.
In the words of Kathleen Merrigan, “As the organic industry continues to grow in the United States and around the world, this will provide a more complete picture of the international demand and sources of supply for organic products. This decision will support the development of more international trade and the work of the National Organic Program to ensure compliance with U.S. organic standards.”
Effective January 1, 2011, 20 U.S. import and 23 export organic trade codes have been established, covering mostly horticultural products. They have been published in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) on the U.S. International Trade Commission’s website and the Schedule B of the U.S. Census Bureau. You can find the full list of products here.