The talks are in their infancy and, as such, it has not yet been confirmed which organic products Mexico may be looking to import from Europe and vice-versa. When asked if organic meat was on the table for discussion, the European Commission said: “The scope of the agreement is one of the parts of the initial phase of the negotiations.”
The announcement follows a meeting Mexico’s secretary of agriculture, José Calzada, had with the EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development Phil Hogan, last week in Mexico City.
“We have agreed to work together to determine if our organic production rules and control systems are equivalent,” said Calzada. “The goals of this exercise are to bring greater prosperity and welfare to our citizens, to reinforce our cooperation and to share our common responsibility with regard to regional and global issues of common interest.”
In Mexico, organic food production is entering something of a golden era of expansion. During 2014, its total area planted with organic crops amounted to 24,500 hectares. And as demand for organic food in the US grows, Mexico has been trying to realign itself to supply this market.
In fact, the US is the biggest market in the world for organic products, with a 43% market share. The whole of the European Union is second with 40%, according to the EU’s Agriculture and Rural Development body.
“I very much welcome the start of negotiations with Mexico with a view to concluding an agreement on trade in organic products,” said Hogan. “The European organic sector continues to be one of our most dynamic production sectors and Mexico has great potential in developing opportunities for organic farmers and businesses.”