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Canada – US Equivalency Agreement

 

Historic signing finalizes equivalency agreement between U.S. and Canada

The U.S. and Canada have reached a historic agreeement on organic equivalency between their two national organic systems. USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, in her keynote address at the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show (June 17, 2009), announced that an equivalency agreement had been reached between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Read OTA's press release.

This historic equivalency agreement will allow the continued smooth flow of certified organic products between the two countries and support the continued growth of this rapidly expanding market in North America. It is the first such equivalency agreement worldwide for the organic industry. The announcement was followed that afternoon by an official signing by officials from USDA and CFIA. The U.S.-Canada Organic Equivalency Agreement took effect on June 30, 2009.



Barbara Robinson (Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA) and Jaspinder Komal (Agriculture and Agr-Food Division, CFIA) hold up the signed equivalency agreements, June 17,2009.



Official documentation and technical resources on organic equivalency

The Canada Organic Office (COO) recently released some key messages to the industry, including information on labelling requirements.
Download Key Messages (PDF)

OTA Guide on the US-Canada Organic Equivalency Agreement. Download the Guide (PDF)


Equivalency Agreement:

USDA letter recognizing Canada Organic Regime as equivalent to National Organic Program

CFIA letter recognizing National Orgnic Program as equivalent to Canada Organic Regime


Regulators' Information and Q&As on Equivalency:

USDA -
National Organic Program Equivalency page

CFIA -
Canada Organic Regime Information page


Background documents

OTA timeline on US-Canada organic equivalecy agreement process.
Download timeline here (PDF)

OTA backgrounder on the benefits of organic equivalency. Download the backgrounder here (PDF)


Related articles and information:

"Equivalency: the case for organic free trade" by Dr. Sophia Twarog (UNCTAD) in The Organic Report (Fall 2008).  
Download the article (PDF).

Public response to the Twarog article by Brian Baker in The Organic Report (Spring 2009). Download the response (PDF)

"The New Canadian Organic Regulations and The Case for Equivalency"  by Katherine DiMatteo and Matthew Holmes, in Organic Processing Magazine (March/April 2009). Read the article here.

"Developments in Canada toward a final organic regulation" by Matthew Holmes, in
The Organic Standard (June 2009). Download the article (PDF)

International Task Force on Harmonization and Equivalency in Organic Agriculture website


OTA public statements:

Historic organic trade agreement will benefit Canadian producers and companies
SACKVILLE, NB (June 18, 2009) — The Organic Trade Association in Canada (OTA) responded in support of the announcement that Canada and the United States have signed an equivalency agreement allowing organic products to be traded between the two countries. The agreement will allow farmers in each country to certify to their domestic organic standards, but they will be able to sell their products as organic in both markets. This landmark, world-first organic equivalency agreement was signed by officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The signing took place in Chicago on Wednesday June 17 during the All Things Organic™ Conference & Trade Show at McCormick Place.
Read the full release here.

Historic signing finalizes equivalency agreement between U.S. and Canada
CHICAGO, Illinois (June 17, 2009)— USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, today in her keynote address at the Organic Trade Association (OTA)’s All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade Show, announced that an equivalency agreement has been reached between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). This historic equivalency agreement will allow the continued smooth flow of certified organic products between the two countries and support the continued growth of this rapidly expanding market in North America. It is the first such equivalency agreement worldwide for the organic industry.
Read the full release here.

Historic signing finalizes equivalency agreement between Canada and U.S. (2009)
Read the full release here.

Organic Trade Association praises talks on organic equivalency agreement between U.S. and Canada (2009)
Read the full release here.

Organic Trade Association applauds new Canadian organic regulations (2009). Read the full release here.

Canadian organic regulation needed to further international trade (2003) 
Read the full release here.

 
 
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