ing a possible end to the considerable
trade barriers we’ve built for ourselves.
Think of this: according to
IFOAM, 97 percent of the world’s $51
billion in organic sales are concentrated in North America and the European Union.
If we could actually trade directly
with each other, and bridge our differences in organic standards, the potential for growth would be
considerable—for these two regions,
for the countries that supply them,
and for the many emerging markets
around the world that are seeking a
supply of organic products. All of sudden, harmonization seems like something worth talking about.
Of course, part of this relates to
market access to sell more product,
but it’s also about supply and market
support: being able to find available
products or ingredients that your mar-
ket needs, and facilitating the development of organic supply chains in
other parts of the world.
Matthew Holmes is managing director of the Organic Trade Association in Canada. He serves on Canada’s Standards Technical Committee, Standards Interpretation Committee, and the Organic Value
Chain Roundtable. Among others, his writings on the organic sector
have appeared in IFOAM’s World of Organic Agriculture, Gastro-nomica and The Canadian Organic Grower Magazine.
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