Sodium nitrate is allowed in the U.S. for restricted use, but is not on the list of acceptable soil treatments in the Canadian standards.
“That was identified as one of the main differences,” Holmes said June 17. “We don’t know yet the final details of the agreement, but my guess is that there will be some sort of carve-out relating to this substance.”
Whatever agreement is made, whether it be phasing out of use of the product by the U.S. or another solution, exporters in the U.S. have a two-year buffer if a phase-out is required.
“There’s a two-year stream of commerce policy,” Holmes said. “The U.S. had one as well when the National Organic Program started up. So National Organic Program products will be able to flow in, regardless, for two years.”
Holmes said organic hydroponic products are also prohibited in the Canadian standards.
Canada is the largest trading partner for the U.S., and more than 80% of organic products consumed in Canada are imported from the U.S., according to the USDA.
“It’s a world-first and it’s the beginning of the next stage of the organic movement,” Holmes said. “Who better than Canada and the U.S., the world’s biggest trading partners?”
Sections Editor Dan Galbraith contributed to this story.