U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its counterpart agency in Canada have reached an agreement that would create equivalencies for organically produced products.

Under the plan, products that are certified as organic in one country can be sold as organic in the other, according to a news release.

In the United States, products that are certified and meet the National Organic Program standards of a USDA-recognized certifying organization do not have to be certified as meeting the Canada Organic Product Regulation standards.

USDA deputy secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement, which becomes effective June 30, at the All Things Organic Trade Show and Confernece in Chicago today.

Canada is the largest export market for U.S. organic products, amounting to $2.1 billion to $2.6 billion. The USDA's Foreign Agricultural Services estimates that about 75 percent of imported organic products come from the United States.

That compares with the U.S. organic market, which totaled $24.6 billion in 2008.