February 15/Berlin/Associated Press -- American and EU officials say they have signed an agreement that will allow products certified as organic in Europe or the U.S. to be sold as organic in both regions.

Growers and companies on either side of the Atlantic until now had to wait for separate certifications, meaning double fees, inspections and paperwork.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement the partnership agreement, which goes into effect June 1, was signed in Nuremberg at the BioFach World Organic Fair.

The EU and U.S. are the world’s largest organic producers with a combined sector value of more than $50 billion.

Both sides say the agreement will help farmers by opening up new markets to them and lowering their costs.

 From the February 15, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.