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Organic agriculture in North America 2010

In North America, almost 2.5 million hectares were managed organically in 2008, representing approximately 0.6 percent of the total agricultural area. The major part of the organic land is in the U.S.

Seven percent of the world’s organic agricultural land is in North America. Despite tough economic times, U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached 24.6 billion US dollars by the end of 2008. OTA in Canada calculated that domestic sales reached two billion Canadian dollars in 2008.

2009 was a momentous year for the organic sector in Canada: on June 30, 2009, the Canada Organic Regime was established. It includes mandatory national standards, consistent labelling rules and a new national logo. In June 2009 an equivalency between the Canadian Organic Regime and the U.S. National Organic Program, effective July 1, 2009, was reached. The world’s first fully reciprocal agreement between regulated organic systems garnered international media attention. (See articles by Barbara Haumann, page 184; and Matthew Holmes and Anne Macey, page 193, both published in The World of Organic Agriculture, edition 2010).

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