South Korea and EU agree on single certificate for organic trade

EUThe deal is expected to provide the EU farmers, processors and businesses greater access to South Korea’s growing market for organic products. (Image source: Emil Asli/Flickr)Effective 1 February 2015, South Korea and the EU will be able to sell organic products with one certificate, issued in either the East Asian nation or in Europe

Until now a separate certification procedure was necessary to facilitate trade of the produce between the regions.

Phil Hogan, agriculture commissioner of the EU, said, “The organic sector continues to be one of the most dynamic production sectors in the EU agriculture and in South Korea. This agreement will cut red tape, especially for SMEs and, therefore, make it easier for European producers to export. This is good news for over 200,000 organic farmers in the EU, as well as for the tens of thousands of businesses in this sector.

“By removing the requirement for two separate certificates with additional fees and inspections, organic producers would gain easier access to two major markets with a combined value of more than US$26bn and 550mn consumers seeking organic products.”

The EU’s organic sector has a growth rate of over nine per cent per year, occupying nearly five per cent of the utilised agriculture area in Europe, added Hogan.

According to the commissioner, South Korea and the EU would continue to have regular discussions and review each other’s programmes periodically to ensure that the terms of the agreement were being met and also discuss any relevant issue concerning each side’s organic legislation and trade in organic products.

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