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In recent years, the presence of Spanish-speakers in the organic community has grown. In 2014, USDA-accredited certifying agents certified over 27,814 organic operations, one-third of which are located outside of the United States. 42% of international operations with USDA organic certification are in Spanish-speaking Latin America and the Caribbean.
USDA organic trade data also show that Latin America and the Caribbean countries play a central role in the U.S. organic market, particularly in filling demand for products such as coffee, fruits, and vegetables. Internal organic markets are also expanding within Latin America. In response to this trend, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) is providing the organic community with easy access to the National Organic Program’s (NOP) resources, to help producers and processors understand and comply with the USDA organic regulations. AMS held its first Spanish-language certifier training in Costa Rica and has translated 17 certifier training modules into Spanish. Cooperation with Latin American and Caribbean trading partners is another way that AMS is facilitating access to information for Spanish-speaking members of the organic community.
AMS is also part of the Inter-American Commission for Organic Agriculture (ICOA), an inter-governmental organization that supports organic agriculture. AMS’ participation in ICOA’s work, which is also carried out primarily in Spanish, enables ongoing exchange of information about the NOP and the USDA organic regulations for our counterparts in Latin American and the Caribbean.
For more information: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/09/22/engaging-spanish-speaking-organic-stakeholders/