Japan accepts organic meat from Canada

A new agreement allows Canada to ship organic products to Japan containing poultry, beef, horse, sheep, goat and pork.  |  Reuters/Jorge Silva photo

Canada and Japan have expanded their organic equivalency arrangement.

The two countries announced that, as of July 16, their 2015 agreement that recognized each other’s organic certification systems now includes livestock products and processed foods containing livestock ingredients.

The earlier agreement included plants and processed foods made of plants and allowed certified organic products to be sold in either country.

According to letters exchanged between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Japanese ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, the equivalency is subject to each country notifying the other of any changes to accredited certification bodies, proposed legislation that would modify the agreement and cases of significant non-compliance.

The agreement allows Canada to ship organic products containing poultry, beef, horse, sheep, goat and pork.

The Japanese Agricultural Standard limits the types of organic livestock that can be labelled and sold as organic in Japan even if they are certified in Canada.

The letter from Canada notes that the same products can come into Canada and “may be sold, labelled and represented in Canada as organic, including display of the Canada Organic logo as well as the Japanese organic seal.”

These products are deemed equivalent to those that have been produced and processed according to Part 13 of the Safe Food for Canadians regulations.

The deal includes import provisions. JAS non-regulated organic products, such as honey, aquaculture products, and organic feed can be imported and sold in Canada as organic if they are certified by a CFIA-approved certifier.

Products coming into Canada must also come with an export certificate from a Japanese-accredited certification body.

Similarly, Canadian honey, seaweed and organic feed, for example, can be imported and sold in Japan.

The two countries plan a review by July 2025.

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