FAQ: I grow organic soybeans and market them through a local elevator which has a contract with a buyer in Japan. I heard recently of a new trade agreement between the U.S. and Japan that promises to give U.S. organic products greater access to the Japanese market. Please explain that new agreement.
Answer: USDA's National Organic Program website says the U.S.-Japan equivalency partnership became effective on January 1, 2014. This partnership between two significant organic markets will streamline U.S. farmers' and processors' access to the growing Japanese organic market, benefiting the thriving organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale.
While this partnership is focused on plant-based organic products, it also clarifies how meat, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, and other nonplant-based products can be sold as organic in both countries
- Exporting U.S. Organic Products to Japan. You will need an Export Certificate. This export certificate must be used when exporting products certified to the USDA organic standards to Japan. A fact sheet describes the terms of the arrangement, scope and labeling requirements in Japan
- Importing Organic Products from Japan. There is a new NOP Import Form with Instructions. This updated form must be used when importing agricultural products certified to the Japanese Agricultural Standards and European Union organic standards. Another fact sheet describes the terms of the arrangement, scope, and labeling requirements in the U.S.
Have Questions? Farms and businesses need to contact their organic certifier or get certified. For a list of USDA-accredited certifiers contact your USDA National Organic Program accreditation manager.
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world.