International Agriculture and Trade Outlook No. (WRS-0505) 26 pp

August 2005

Market-Led Growth vs. Government-Facilitated Growth: Development of the U.S. and EU Organic Agricultural Sectors

Organic farmland and sales are rapidly growing worldwide, and the two largest markets are in the European Union (EU) and the United States. The two regions have adopted different policy approaches to organic agriculture. Many EU countries have "green payments" available for transitioning and continuing organic farmers, as well as a variety of other supply and demand policies aimed at promoting growth of the organic sector. The U.S. Government, in contrast, has largely taken a free-market approach to the organic sector, and policy is aimed at facilitating market development. This report compares EU and U.S. organic agriculture policy and examines the organic sectors in the two regions.

Keywords: Organic agriculture, green payments, farm policy, organic markets, organic certification, EU organic sector, U.S. organic sector

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