“We’ve always offered GlobalGAP IFA (Integrated Farm Assurance) certification for companies ready to meet the highest international standards and those who might be exporting to European retailers,” she said.
In some regions outside the U.S., auditing standards already are similar to those of the U.S., said Gary Wishnatzki, owner of Plant City, Fla.-based Wish Farms, which brings blueberries to the U.S. from Chile.
“In many cases, I believe some of the protocols down there may even be stricter,” Wishnatzki said.
The toughest current challenge in importing produce is the time required to move and process commodities through U.S. ports of entry, said Don Edgar, operations manager of Princeton, Fla.-based grower-shipper-packer New Limeco LLC.
“I know we’ve gotten better. We have a lot of cooperation with the ports because we’re a major player in importing,” he said.