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China, New Zealand agree on mutual recognition of organic food certification

China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration and New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries agreed on November 14th 2016 to mutually recognize each other’s certifications for organic food imports.

This is the first mutual recognition agreement for organic food certification China has signed with a foreign country.
China mainly exports coffee, frozen vegetables, and pet food to New Zealand and imports dairy products, meat and fruit from the country. Under the agreement, all organic food should be marked with Chinese certification labels and codes.

“China is negotiating with countries including Denmark, the United Kingdom and Thailand as well as the European Union for mutual recognition of organic food certification,” said Wang Maohua, an official overseeing food and agricultural product certification at the administration. “We expect to reach an agreement with Denmark in one or two years.”

The organic industry in China has grown rapidly in recent years, despite the nation’s economic slowdown. Total sales reached 60 billion yuan ($8.78 billion) last year, twice as much as in 2013, Wang said. Best-sellers include dairy products, wine, rice and vegetables.

China strictly regulates the industry. For example, enterprises that have their certificates revoked for faking organic processes must wait up to five years to reapply for certification.

For further information please the State Council of the People’s Republic of China website.


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