Tomorrow, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and João Vale de Almeida, EU Ambassador to the United States, will recognize the new organic trade equivalency partnership between the United States and European Union at a luncheon on Capitol Hill. The U.S.-EU partnership on organic trade enters into effect on June 1, 2012.
Together, the U.S. and EU organic markets are valued at more than $50 billion. Under this agreement, estimates show the market for U.S. organics sales to the EU could grow substantially within the first few years. In 2010, the U.S. organic market grew nearly 8 percent to nearly $28.6 billion, while USDA has worked to promote international organic trade. Organic exports reached approximately $1.8 billion in 2010, and that number is expected to grow 8 percent annually over the next several years.
(For more, see: Organic farmers face special challenges)
Today, more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, and 28 percent buy organic products weekly. Under President Obama, USDA has continued to expand markets for American goods abroad, worked aggressively to break down barriers to trade, and assisted U.S. businesses with the resources needed to reach consumers around the world. U.S. agricultural exports reached a record high last year and supported more than 1 million jobs here at home.