A leading US organic trade body has thrown its weight behind efforts to agree an organic certification equivalency agreement between the US and Canadian governments.

Such a deal would facilitate the smooth trade of certified organic products between the two countries, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) said.

The two governments have agreed to sign a letter of intent to complete negotiations and finalise an agreement by the summer, when Canada’s new organic regulations come into effect.

“Canada is the US’s most important customer when it comes to organic products, and we don’t want to see any unnecessary disruption to this relationship,” said Christine Bushway, OTA executive director.

“Canadian consumers will definitely benefit from this, and will continue to enjoy quality year-round organic products from the United States,” said Matthew Holmes, managing director of the OTA in Canada.

“At the same time, Canadian farmers and manufacturers will be able to certify to our organic standards without having to take on additional, redundant certifications to sell into the United States – so everybody wins.”