European Commission and Mexico Start Negotiations on Trade of Organic Products
The government of Mexico and the European Commission have started negotiations towards a bilateral agreement on trade in organic products.
Both sides confirmed their interest to swiftly conclude an agreement that would allow expanding the market for organic farmers, reducing the burden for companies and supplying more organic products to consumers.
Secretary of Agriculture José Calzada of Mexico and EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan met earlier today in México City and agreed to launch negotiations with a view to acknowledging the equivalence of each other’s organic legislation and control systems. EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan visited Mexico earlier this month, accompanied by a delegation of 35 European businesses representing a wide range of the European Union’s agri-food sector.
“I very much welcome the start of negotiations with Mexico with a view to concluding an agreement on trade in organic products,” said Hogan. “The European organic sector continues to be one of our most dynamic production sectors and Mexico has great potential in developing opportunities for organic farmers and businesses”.
“We have agreed to work together to determine if our organic production rules and control systems are equivalent,” said Calzada. “The goals of this exercise are to bring greater prosperity and welfare to our citizens, to reinforce our cooperation and to share our common responsibility with regard to regional and global issues of common interest”.
Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental and climate action practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources and the application of high production and animal welfare standards.
In Mexico, organic farming is going through a period of expansion. During 2014, total area planted with organic crops amounted to 60,541 acres, producing 104,400 tons of these products, valued at over one billion $58 million. Tomatoes, coffee, strawberries, and raspberries stand out as the leaders in value generation among organic crops.
In the European Union, the organic sector has been rapidly developing in recent years, with a total area of 25.5 million acres cultivated as organic in 2014 compared to 15.8 million acres in 2005.
The EU market for organic products amounts to some 40 percent of the world market, second only to the United States, at 43 percent.