MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Editor Tom Karst collected these news items Jan. 11 on the show floor at the Global Organic Produce Expo.
PORTMIAMI: Eric Olafson, director of global trade and business development for PortMiami, Miami, Fla, and Nimrod Simeon, trade analyst of the global trade and business development for the port say the port is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Organic Program to try to become the first port in the U.S. that is organically certified.
“We realize that the organic market is growing exponentially and we want it to be able to be a port that could certify that (as a trader) you knew that if you were passing through it, it would have the cold chain, there would be no fumigation, there will be no (prohibited) chemicals,” Olafson says. The port also is looking at a separate set aside area for organic products at the port, to make sure that they’re not cross-contaminated with other goods.
With the hoped-for certification, sea containers will be cleaned in a different manner with organically friendly products, he says. “We just want The Whole Foods, the Publixes and the Targets of the world to know that if they come through Miami, organics are going to come through or not be tainted,” he says. The port also has been working with the group Florida Organic Growers to come up with the certification program, he says. Olafson says the port hopes to win organic certification within the year.
“Our hope is also to spread that certification to our partners or sister ports in Latin America, to make sure that the products coming in from Costa Rica from Peru, tr Colombia, the Dominican Republic, at the port of export, are using the same measures the same certification so that we’re preserving the gold chain and preserving the organic integrity.”