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Organic agriculture in North America 2012

In North America, almost 2.7 million hectares are managed organically, of these nearly two million in the United States (2008 data) and 0.7 million in Canada (2009 data), representing approximately 0.7 percent of the total agricultural area in the region and 7 percent of the world’s organic agricultural land.

The U.S. organic market grew at a rate of nearly eight percent in 2010, to reach nearly 29 billion US dollars (food and non-food), according to findings from the Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) 2011 Organic Industry Survey. While total U.S. food sales grew by less than one percent in 2010, the organic food industry grew by 7.7 percent. In the organic non-food sector, organic supplements led, with a value of 681 million US dollars, representing a 7.4 percent growth over 2009 figures. Through 2010 and 2011, the
Canadian organic market continued to show signs of solid growth and consumer confidence, following the introduction of mandatory federal regulations for organic in 2009. The Canada Organic Trade Association has estimated that the Canadian consumer market was valued at 2.6 billion Canadian dollars by the end of 2010.

At the end of June 2011, the Government of Canada entered into an equivalency arrangement on the trade of organic products with the European Union (EU). It is the world's second such agreement. The first organic equivalency arrangement was signed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in June 2009. In December 2011, a framework for an organic equivalence agreement between the United States and the European Union was approved.

For more details on recent developments, see articles by Barbara Haumann on the United States (page 267), and by Matthew Holmes and Anne Macey (page 267) in the North American section of "The World of Organic Agriculture 2012".