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Number of mutual-recognition agreements set to rise

Wang Xiaodong
Updated: Mar 22,2017 9:22 AM     China Daily

China is likely to reach agreements on mutual recognition of standards for organic products with a number of countries in the next few years, according to the nation’s top authority for organic certification.

“China is in discussions with countries such as the United Kingdom, Denmark and Thailand about mutual recognition of organic certification, and progress has been made,” said Wang Maohua, an organic-registration official at the Certification and Accreditation Administration.

In November, China and New Zealand signed an agreement recognizing each other’s organic products. The agreement was the first of its kind for China, and the deal is expected to facilitate the trade in organic produce between two of the world’s biggest producers of organic foods, the administration said.

“New Zealand has a developed agricultural sector and its organic products are recognized by the European Union and the United States,” said Qiao Yuhui, an associate professor at the China Agricultural University in Beijing.

“By reaching mutual recognition with New Zealand, China has improved its organic-certification system and gained expertise that will aid future cooperation with other countries,” she said.

However, achieving greater progress with other countries may not be an easy task, and other factors, such as trade policies between different countries, may pose obstacles, she added.

Last year, China exported organic products worth more than $500 million, according to the Certification and Accreditation Administration.