Northwest Horticultural Council
Mexico Implements New Organic Certification and Labeling Standards
Current situation: Starting January 1, 2022, apples, cherries, and pears must be certified and labeled according to Mexico’s Organic Products Law (LPO) to be sold in Mexico as organic. Packers and shippers are encouraged to work with their LPO certifier to obtain compliance details with Mexico’s law.
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is providing LPO certification through an agreement with Oregon Tilth and has distributed information on the labeling requirements. Stickers, or amended labels, may be applied to consumer packages with information required by the LPO.
Required carton marks:
- Packer name and LPO client number
- Certifier code number
Additionally, the following information must appear in Spanish:
- Name of product
- Country of origin
- Net weight
- “Distributed by” followed by the packer name and LPO client number
- “Certified organic by” followed by “Oregon Tilth” and the certifier code number
- Ingredient statement (if used)
- One of the non-GMO statements (“libre de organisms geneticamente modificados”, “No OGM”, “Producto sin OGM”)
Use of the LPO seal or logo is optional
USDA organic labeling may also appear on the export carton in addition to the LPO required marks.
Washington state packer/shippers interested in exporting organic fruit to Mexico are advised to allow sufficient time to obtain the required registration numbers. For more information contact WSDA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 360-902-1805. Oregon and Idaho packer/shippers should contact an LPO certifier. A list of whom can be found here.
Background: On December 26, 2020, Mexico published a measure (the Measure) stating products which will be marketed as organic in Mexico will need to show compliance at the border with Mexico’s organic law (LPO).
The deadline for enforcement of this Measure was June 26, 2021, which was extended to January 1, 2022.
Despite ongoing USDA efforts, Mexico will not recognize USDA organic certification after January 1, 2022. U.S. organic products exported to Mexico must be certified according to the LPO. WSDA provides certification through Oregon Tilth to exporters in Washington state. A list of other certifiers accredited by Mexico’s National Service of Health, Safety, and Agro-food Safety (SENASICA) can be found here.
Product already certified to the USDA’s organic standards may be “recertified” under the LPO by a SENASICA-accredited certifying body, e.g. Oregon Tilth. (WSDA has a compliance agreement with Oregon Tilth to provide recertification.) WSDA advised that the USDA certification process takes 105 days, and estimated the LPO recertification process to be shorter, entailing a short application form, WSDA confirmation, and virtual interview.