Canada was a few years behind the U.S. in establishing government standards for its organic produce industry, but the Biologique Canada Organic label is now being enforced, two years after the nation passed its organic standards law.
And, because the U.S. and Canada have a reciprocal agreement, food labeled organic in Canada can be labeled and sold in the U.S., too.
Like the U.S. system, where the Department of Agriculture sets standards and third-party certification organizations verify that farms adhere to them, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency sets the rules in Canada.
In other words, consumers can view the Biologique Canada Organic label pictured here with the same trust they view the USDA Organic label.
And a good thing, too, since the U.S. bought nearly $20 billion worth of Canadian agricultural products in 2010, and Canada ranks as the No. 1 U.S. trade partner for farm products, according to the USDA. About 20% of U.S. farm imports come from Canada. About 28% of those Canadian imports is made up of animal products, with beef and pork topping the list. About 15% is vegetables and fruits, with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and mushrooms topping the import list. It's not clear what percentage of imports could be classified as organic under the new system.
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