Organic Trade

  • Holland & Knight's Organic Trade Team represents all types of interests, including importers and exporters, in the organic trades and guides them in complying with regulations in the U.S., European Union, China, Latin America and more than 100 nations that have trade relationships in organic products and commodities. Our clients include certifying organizations, farms, processors and handlers, importers and exporters around the globe.
  • Our attorneys work closely with officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service, National Organic Program, and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to interpret and provide guidance to certifiers, farmers, producers, handlers, importers and exporters. When certifying bodies issue notices of noncompliance, our goal is to resolve the issue quickly to ensure that agricultural products can continue to move through the supply chain.
  • Our Organic Trade Team is supported by our International Trade Group, which provides global support for all international corporate, commercial and regulatory issues, making Holland & Knight a one-stop legal resource.

Holland & Knight's Organic Trade Team counsels clients in all phases of compliance with national and international organic standards and requirements, including the importing and exporting of organic products. Throughout the world, participants in this industry must meet rigorous standards regarding the production, processing and marketing of organic products. Our attorneys have broad experience in the organic certification process and the world’s key regulatory regimes.

We complement this with experience in all aspects of international trade compliance, as well as logistics and supply chain legal and practical experience. Certifiers and businesses that encounter problems in the certification process or at any point in their supply chain turn to us for quick resolutions. Holland & Knight attorneys understand that disruptions at any point in the supply chain can be devastating for producers or buyers of organic products. We help clients find efficient solutions that allow them to comply with regulations and move products as quickly as possible through international ports. If a certifier issues a notice of noncompliance, we work with the client to respond to the notice and mitigate the supply chain interruption.

In the U.S., our lawyers have worked within the framework of the National Organic Program (NOP) since it was established. Our relationships and familiarity with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its programs enable us to clarify regulations that govern the hundreds of products covered by the NOP, and we continually advocate for regulatory changes that encourage trade while protecting organic integrity.

As counsel to supply chain constituents around the globe, we are familiar with organic standards and requirements worldwide. We regularly assist clients with multijurisdictional compliance and training to ensure cross-border integrity.

In the U.S., on-the-ground work is complemented by our advocacy before regulatory agencies, including the USDA, Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission, Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) and other agencies. This day-to-day involvement in the corridors of Congress and federal regulatory agencies allows us to notify clients of impending changes in regulations and enforcement. Often, this early-alert mechanism is the decisive factor in mitigating the costs of compliance changes. In China, Europe and Latin America, our know-how and experience provide key insight and assistance to both domestic and multinational supply chains.

Comprehensive International Trade Counsel

Our Organic Trade Team works as part of our larger International Trade Group, which represents clients in all aspects of import and export transactions, transportation and logistics matters, commercial and corporate transactions, and other supply chain matters. Our diverse team has lawyers based or practicing in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Latin America, so they understand local culture and legal systems. We help clients implement policies and procedures that ensure domestic and global compliance throughout their supply chains, and we help clients navigate contingencies and develop alternatives to mitigate supply chain disruptions.

The resources of our International Trade Group allow us to assist clients with broad services for development of their businesses, including product safety, labeling requirements for promotion and advertising, Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) standards, recalls, facility and product inspections, and all enforcement actions, as well as mainstream compliance issues such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, local anti-corruption legislation and similar restrictions on behavior.

Holland & Knight's understanding of the science, economics, markets and legal landscape of the organic industry makes it a knowledgeable partner for all businesses with a supply chain touching the organic space.