Beginning on Jan. 1, organic products certified in the United States or in Japan may be sold as organic in either country, under an agreement announced this morning in Baltimore.
The new pact is an effort to give U.S. farmers and processors better access to the growing Japanese organic market.
Currently, organic farmers and businesses wanting to sell products in either country must get separate certifications to meet each country's organic standards, resulting in more fees, inspections and paperwork.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said it would "eliminate significant barriers" for small and medium organic producers.
"This represents another key step in strengthening our economic relationship with Japan by boosting agriculture trade between Japan and the United States, leading to more jobs and economic benefits for American farmers and businesses in this important sector," Froman said in a statement.
The organics business in the U.S. and Japan is valued at more than $36 billion combined, officials said.