US, Japan expand organic agreement to include livestock

US, Japan expand organic agreement to include livestock

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Arrangement will reduce costs, streamline process for producers

The United States and Japan have expanded their organic equivalence arrangement to include livestock products, effective July 16, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Marketing Service said in a press release.

The USDA said the arrangement will reduce costs and streamline the process for those involved in the organic livestock supply chain by requiring only one organic certification.

“Opening new markets for America’s organic farmers and ranchers continues to be a priority for USDA,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Greg Ibach. “Japan is already one of the top export markets for U.S. organic products. This agreement opens additional opportunities for everyone involved in the international supply chain for livestock, from farm to table.”

The Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS) now require organic livestock products imported from the United States to either be certified under the JAS or USDA organic regulations. This announcement marks the addition of livestock to the existing U.S.-Japan organic trade arrangement that has allowed plant-based products to be certified to either country’s organic standards since 2014.

“Japan is a key international partner in the organic market sector,” said U.S. Trade Representative Chief Agricultural Negotiator Gregg Doud. “This expanded arrangement protects and increases access for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to the third largest U.S. organic export market.”

USDA has established equivalence arrangements with major organic export markets including Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan. These arrangements eliminate the need for dual certifications, avoiding double fees, inspections and duplicative paperwork.

Technical experts from the United States and Japan conducted thorough on-site audits to ensure that the regulations, quality control measures, certification requirements and labeling practices are compatible. The trade partners will continue to hold regular discussions and review each other’s programs periodically, ensuring the terms of the arrangement are being met.