Early last week, the United Sates organic food trade with South Korea almost came to an end. Such a move could have had an effect on a number of farmers and producers in Wisconsin. Prior to finalizing their decisions, officials came up with a plan to extend the trade for a period of six months. Such an extension will allow food flow between the two countries. Organic standards have been established in the United States for a number of years. South Korea on the other hand established its standards recently. It is now essential for both nations to decide on common standards’ set. Failure to reach an agreement during the grace period of six months will force each manufacturer and farmer in the United States to be certified by the Korean government as organic.
According to the Executive Vice President of the Organic Trade Association, Laura Batcha, inspection of each producer by the Korean government would be costly. Such a procedure would require the inspectors to come from Korea to the United States to do the inspection. The timing and logistics of such an inspection would result in a backlog. With processed products containing several ingredients, every ingredient has to be inspected. This implies a great undertaking. Batcha therefore hopes that an agreement will be reached by the two governments soon. The country’s importance cannot be overlooked, considering the fact that it hosts companies such as La-Farge Organic Valley. This company has been selling cheese powder and milk to South Korea for several years. There has been doubling of sales annually, with last year’s sales amounting to $500,000.