U.S Organic Worldwide in East Asia


Republic of Korea

Export market rank: Fourth, same as in 2016

Total tracked U.S. organic exports in 2017: $23,908,670 U.S. (source: USDA GATS)

Import requirements: For processed products, USDA NOP certification and completion of a TM-11 with each shipment; certification to the Korean Organic Standard for all other products. 

Market & Policy Info: https://globalorganictrade.com/country/korea-republic-formerly-south-korea

Citizens of the Republic of Korea are extremely health- and beauty-focused, making organic products available throughout the country. There are several all-organic chains such as ORGA, while the largest food retailer in Korea--E-Mart owned by the Shinsegae group--is the largest seller of organic goods. In July, the Organic Trade Association hosted a seminar with influencers, bloggers, and journalists to answer the question “Why Organic.” The seminar featured a presentation, pop quiz with prizes, cooking lesson focused on organic ingredients from the U.S. and a tasting of U.S. organic product.  Over 32 U.S. organic products were on display, used in the cooking lesson and for prizes, and distributed in take-home bags. Look for an announcement via OTA’s International Forum for media results. If you are in Seoul, visit New Origin Café for food as a medicinal approach to your lunch. The café sources organic ingredients locally and from the United States. 


Export market rank: Fifth, down from third in 2016

Total tracked U.S organic exports in 2017: $22,306,806 U.S. (source: USDA GATS)

Import Requirements: USDA NOP certification and sale to a JAS certified organic importer, or certification to the JAS organic standard

Market & Policy Info: https://globalorganictrade.com/country/japan

Japan is a significant organic market in Asia, but organic growth has slowed recently in the country, dropping the country from our third to fifth export destination in 2017. Exchange rates and preference for appropriately packaged products make Japan a challenging market to enter for some U.S. organic goods. Take your average package size in the U.S. and cut it in half at least for an average package size in Japan. However, the domestic organic industry in Japan is now realizing how important it will be to work together to promote organic to Japanese consumers.  With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics quickly approaching, many organic groups are planning to feature their offerings to the thousands of Olympic visitors coming to Japan. In another exciting development, Japan will expand its organic program to include livestock and dairy products certified organic to the JAS standard.  Speaking of dairy: if you are in Tokyo, stop by Organic Trade Association member’s Three Twins Scoop shop in the Daikan-yama Station.


Export market rank: Third, up from fifth in 2016 

Total tracked U.S. organic exports in 2017: $26,929,027 U.S. (source: USDA GATS)

Import requirements: USDA NOP certification and Taiwanese organic labeling application approval or certification to the Taiwanese Organic Standard

Market & Policy Info: https://globalorganictrade.com/country/taiwan

Taiwan’s organic market is growing. On May 18, Taiwanese authorities passed the Organic Agriculture Production and Promotion Act. This legislation governs the rules for organic production, importation of organic products, and establishes incentives to increase domestic cultivation and processing of organic goods. The Organic Trade Association led a delegation of American certifiers to Taiwan in April. The delegation met with Taiwanese government officials, certifiers, importers, and residue testing authorities. Research from this trip and a year-long investigation on the import process led to the development of a Taiwan exporter guide. Available at the link above, this is the most comprehensive and complete resource to help you export products to our third largest market. If you are in Taipei, visit Cottonfield organic restaurant for the best organic hotspot in town! //