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Organic sector pleased with new and improved Canada/EU organic equivalency

Marie-Eve Levert
Ottawa , ON
March 7, 2016
) — 

After five years of ongoing negotiations, the European Union Regulatory Committee on Organic Production has voted on March 2nd on the expansion of the current scope of the Canada-EU Organic Equivalency Arrangement.  Process products with imported ingredients certified in accordance with Canada's organic legislation will now be cover under the agreement. 

This is a milestone for the Canadian organic industry. On entering the original agreement in 2011, the EU added restriction that products with ingredients from outside of Canada could not be traded under the agreement.  After tough and persistent negotiations, this limitation is now removed.

“Strengthening Canada’s export opportunities with EU countries just took a strong step forward with recognition of COR certified organic products with ingredients from all approved suppliers” said Dag Falck, President of the Canada Organic Trade Association (COTA). 

The expansion of the EU-Canada Organic Equivalency Arrangements includes:

  • The recognition of processed products for use as food and for use as feed with organic ingredients imported from third countries and that are certified in accordance with Canada's legislation on organic products;
  • Equivalency recognition of EU and Canadian organic wine standards.

It is estimated that the expansion of the arrangement will enter into force early April; following the formal adoption by the College of Commissioners, and the publication of the regulation in the Official Journal of the European Union.

“ This is a long-awaited and exciting news for the Canadian organic industry, ” declared Falck, “Europe is the second largest organic market in the world, valued at $23.9 billion euros, and the Canadian Organic sector will now have full access”.

The Canada Organic Trade Association is the membership-based association for the organic sector in Canada, representing growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others in the organic value chain. COTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.