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Export News: U.S./Switzerland Organic Equivalence Arrangement Achieved!

by Rachel Witte |

On July 9, 2015, the United States and Switzerland officially signed an organic standards equivalence arrangement, allowing product produced in either location to be labeled and sold as organic in either country. This is the fifth organic equivalence arrangement for the United States, and further opens trade avenues, strengthening the organic market worldwide. The arrangement went in to effect July 10, 2015.

CCOF is happy to announce that this arrangement significantly reduces burdens for CCOF operations exporting to Switzerland by removing the requirement for additional standards compliance outside of the National Organic Program (NOP) scope. This means that all operations currently enrolled in our International Standard Program for export to Switzerland no longer require the program and will be removed.

We are working to evaluate the equivalence arrangement terms and develop the necessary verification program for operations exporting to Switzerland. All operations currently enrolled in the International Standard Program can continue to export product to Switzerland, and will be notified directly of any additional verification requirements for the new arrangement.

Please note that this equivalence does not directly affect the Swiss private standard, BioSuisse. BioSuisse private standards are still in place for all operations seeking BioSuisse certification, or supplying ingredients to BioSuisse certified operations. If you are certified to the BioSuisse standard, or are seeking BioSuisse certification, please contact our Senior International Specialist Gamai Gregory at for additional information.

CCOF is proud to have been a voice in the movement towards this arrangement, and thanks to everyone at the National Organic Program (NOP), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), and the Organic Trade Association (OTA) for their work in bringing this agreement to fruition!