U.S. nears equivalence agreement for organics with Korea
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WASHINGTON, June 13, 2014 - The U.S. and Korea recently completed discussions related to an equivalence arrangement for processed organic food products, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced today. The countries are now in the process of finalizing the text of the arrangement.
According to USDA, the arrangement will streamline U.S. farmers' and processors' access to the growing Korean organic market, benefiting the rapidly growing organic industry in the United States. Without an equivalence arrangement, organic farmers and businesses wanting to sell products in either country had to obtain separate certifications to meet each country's organic standards, creating duplicate paperwork and inspections.
“Both the United States and Korea are committed to finalizing the arrangement in the near future and strengthening our partnership in this robust, growing sector,” USDA said in a statement.
South Korea was the sixth-largest market for U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2013, worth $5.2 billion, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service. A U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, completed in March 2012, removed duties on two-thirds of the American agricultural products entering Korea.
“Major winners to date from [the agreement] include tree nuts, dairy, and processed fruits and vegetables,” USDA says.
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