Blended standards key to organics trade growth - The Packer

Blended standards key to organics trade growth

01/11/2013 11:08:00 AM
Jim Offner

“We’ve done some,” he said. “We’ve actually put more conventional fruit, although we’ve seen some pretty good organic growth in blueberries.”

Other problems

More standardized certification requirements are a positive step, but they don’t address other problems connected to shipping to the Euopean Union, said Matt Roberts, sales manager with Sedro-Woolley, Wash.-based shipper CF Fresh Inc.

“It’s easier. The problem is that with the EU, in general, the business isn’t what it used to be,” he said.

CF Fresh doesn’t ship fruit to Europe in the volumes it had done before, Roberts said.

“We don’t see the business, especially in the United Kingdom, where we did a lot of exporting before,” he said. “The fruit they use is similar to that the slicers here use. There’s less money and less risk.”

The main export market for Oxnard, Calif.-based Deardorff Family Farms is Canada, whose certification standards are comparable to those of the U.S., said Tom Deardorff, president.

Asia, he said, is probably the next offshore marketing frontier for his company, and that won’t happen right away.

“I think it will take a lot of market development and education to get there, but it is an avenue that needs to be pursued,” he said.

For now, there’s no pressing need to go in that direction, Deardorff said.

“One reason we haven’t is we’re trying to satisfy our own marketplace here first,” he said.

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Mischa Popoff    
Osoyoos BC Canada  |  January, 12, 2013 at 06:55 PM

How can the United States even talk about a “harmonic convergence” among international organics standards when the USDA still doesn't test organic products to ensure they're genuine? By the USDA’s own admittance, “The number of results reported to the NOP in 2011 represents a sampling rate of less than 1% of certified operations.” (See Federal Register Volume 77, Number 218, Friday, November 9, 2012, How does a multibillion dollar industry get away with this?

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