Last updated on January 4th, 2016 at 09:04 am
Since 2009, the U.S. has entered into international accords with Canada, the European Union and major Asian trade partners to promote the trade of organic products. A new report released by the Organic Trade Association shows these trade understandings have significantly boosted overseas business for U.S. organic.
According to the OTA, these accords were found to have collectively increased annual U.S. organic exports by 58 percent during 2011-14 over what exports would have been without any agreements in place. Conducted by Dr. Edward Jaenicke, associate professor of agricultural economics at Penn State University, the study for the first time singles out organic equivalency policy to scientifically evaluate whether the policy is having its intended results.
“OTA worked hard with U.S. officials and organic stakeholders to get these equivalency arrangements in place to benefit the American organic sector, and we needed to analyze if indeed they are performing,” said Laura Batcha, OTA executive director and CEO. “We’re pleased to see this study shows that these trade arrangements have resulted in increased business opportunities for the American organic sector and have also benefited our trading partners by introducing their organic products to U.S. consumers. Studies like this are critical tools to help guide policymakers.”
The study also found annual organic imports by the U.S. during 2013-14 were double what they would have been without any agreement.
Since the implementation of the trade equivalency arrangements, U.S. organic exports to the EU have risen by 44 percent, to Japan by 17 percent and to Canada by 14 percent. In dollar value, organic apples, lettuce, grapes, spinach and strawberries are the top five organic exports, and organic coffee and soybeans are the top organic imports.