U.S. certified organic food will now be automatically recognized as organic in Taiwan and vice versa as the result of a new equivalence deal signed by both countries. 

Borrowing from experience with other equivalency deals, American organic producers can expect increased trade, say government and industry representatives.

“This equivalence arrangement streamlines trade in certified organic goods with Taiwan, a key international partner in the organic market sector,” said USDA Undersecretary Greg Ibach. “This arrangement protects and increases access for American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to the fifth largest U.S. export market for USDA certified organic products.”

Taiwan already imports a lot of organic apples, cauliflower, grapes, lettuce and celery from the U.S., and this deal to cut down on fees, inspection and paperwork is going to spur more trade, says the Organic Trade Association.

Taiwan imported $92 million worth of organic food last year, making it the fifth largest market for the U.S., according to OTA and USDA estimates.

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“Taiwan is a solid consumer market for U.S. organic products, and exporters should view this renewed partnership as an opportunity to further expand into a country that is eager for organic,” said OTA International Trade manager Alexis Carey. “We will be providing resources and trade activities for exporters as they explore potential business opportunities with Taiwan.”

This is the sixth organic equivalence deal for the U.S. after similar arrangements with Canada, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and Switzerland. Taiwan has equivalence deals with Japan and Australia, so the deal with the U.S. is expected to help U.S. producers compete. OTA officials say they hope the deal will also lead to new markets in Taiwan for organic livestock products.

USDA and OTA say they expect organic food exports to Taiwan to increase by 50% over the next five years.

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