The European Union will recognise UK organic produce following the end of the Brexit transition period, it was announced this week.
UK farming groups had feared a potential ban on organic food exports if talks surrounding post-Brexit organics equivalence agreements failed.
The European Commission’s decision will mean that the UK’s six organic certification bodies will be recognised for 12 months following the end of the EU Exit transition period.
The move will ensure continued access to the vital EU and Northern Irish markets and bring certainty to producers, the NFU said yesterday. The UK is the world's ninth organic market and sales of organic produce to the EU are worth £225m every year.
NFU organic forum chair Andrew Burgess said: “Exports to the EU have and always will be an important part of the UK organic supply chain and to be able to continue to export to that key market from January is a huge relief.
“While not the full mutual equivalency we have been pressing for, this decision should offer short-term certainty for those organic businesses who’ve been concerned over losing access to this valuable market.
“UK organic mutual equivalence with the EU is something the UK government has been seeking to be included as a technical annex within the draft Free Trade Agreement text currently being negotiated. We hope that an agreement is reached which mutually recognises the UK and EU as having equivalent organic standards to provide more long-term certainty for the organics sector.”