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UNITED STATES

Introduction

The United States is both a major exporter and importer of agricultural products. The fresh produce industry mirrors this trend as both a major exporter and importer of a broad range of fruits and vegetables. The total organic sector of agriculture has recorded over 44 percent growth in certified acreage from 1992 to 1997, and cropland grew by 111 percent. Additional reports since 1997 indicate a continuing pattern of growth in organic acreage. California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF) estimates 1999 acreage up 38 percent since 1997, while Idaho and Farm Verified Organic (FVO) report gains in 1999 up 55 percent since 1997. The Washington Department of Agriculture reports a growth of 150 percent from 1997 to 1999.

The United States Government completed the US National Organic Standards in December 2000. With the full implementation of these standards by October 2002, the United States industry is preparing for increased interest in organic products. The conventional retail supermarkets have already begun to stock organic fresh produce and now represent over 42 percent of organic fresh produce sales. Major United States food companies are expanding into the organic market segment, and a consolidation within the existing organic and natural foods product companies will lead to increased advertising and promotion of organics in general which will further increase United States consumer interest in organic products, including fresh produce. The United States market has over 12 000 retail stores specializing in organic and natural foods. In addition, conventional retail stores are adding organic fresh produce and products to their shelves, representing over 120 000 retail outlets.

With the establishment of the US National Organic Standards, importers of organic fresh produce will be held to the same standard as the United States and may eventually be able to label their product as USDA ORGANIC when marketed in the United States market.

While the value of imported organic fresh produce is not known, the United States imports over US$6 billion of various fruits and vegetables. If the organic segment achieves the same level of imports as current United States retail sales volume (2 percent), the short-term import potential exceeds US$125 million.

1. Organic farming in the United States

1.1 Introduction

During the 1990s, organic farming was one of the fastest growing United States agricultural sectors. By 1997, state and private certifiers had reported over 1 345 558 acres under organic certification1. From 1992 to 1997 the total certified organic farmland grew 44 percent. A similar growth rate has occurred in the number of certified growers, increasing 40 percent to 5 021. While this represents a fast growing sector of United States agriculture, the 1997 levels represent just 0.2 percent of all crop land.

The absence of national certification standards has impacted the conversion to organic production, both from the farmer's concern about lack of standards and the limited number of processors.

The organic processing industry in the United States has been limited to small and pioneering food processors until now, with the major United States food processors hesitant to enter into this market. With the anticipation and announcement of the US National Organic Standards in December 2000, major United States manufacturers have begun to enter this market through investments in existing companies, purchasing of existing branded organic companies and through the direct introduction of branded organic products. These trends indicate that the rate of growth in organic acreage will continue in upcoming years.

1.2 United States organic acreage

The growth in organic acreage is focused on cropland, with the majority of production in grains and oilseeds. Pasture and rangeland have decreased during this period. This decrease is attributed to the delays in the establishment of United States standards for organic meats and the prohibition of labelling meat products as "organic" until February 1999.

Direct comparisons of average farm sizes would be misleading due to inclusion of pasture and rangeland with cropland. Certified rangeland can include national forest land under lease to a rancher, which allows a ranch to certify 100 000 acres or more, eliminating any "average farm" accuracy.

Table 1: Total US certified farmland in acres


1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Change (%)

Total

935 450

955 650

991 453

917 894

-

1 346 558

44

Pasture and rangeland

532 050

490 850

434 703

279 394

-

496 385

(7)

Cropland

403 400

464 800

556 750

638 500

-

850 173

111

Total cert. Growers (no. of farms)

3 587

3 536

4 060

4 856

-

5 021

40

Source: USDA ERS report on US Organic Agriculture, updated April 2000.

Certified pasture and growing certified organic animal feed dominate United States organic agricultural production acreage. The second largest segment is organic grain production followed by oilseeds (predominately soybean). Herbs are the third largest acreage, attributed to the certification of over 83 000 acres of "wild-harvested" acres, or non-cultivated acreage where herbs are harvested as they grow in a wild or natural ecosystem.

Table 2: US Organic acreage (1997)


Acres

Percent of total

Pasture and animal feed

623 182

46.28

Grains

291 012

21.61

Oilseeds

113 577

8.43

Edible beans

14 040

1.04

Herbs/nursery

90 775

6.74

Vegetables

52 561

3.90

Fruits

49 413

3.67

Other cropland and unclassified

111 998

8.32

Total

1 346 558

100.00

Source: USDA ERS report on US Organic Agriculture
updated April 2000.

Vegetable production utilizes just over 52 560 acres dominated by lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes and carrots, accounting for 33 percent of total vegetable acreage. Fruit production has 3.7 percent of all acreage, led by grapes, apples and then citrus.

1.3 Organic vegetable and fruit production

Table 3: US organic fruit and vegetable acreage

Vegetables (1997)

Acreage

Fruits (1997)

Acreage

Mixed vegetables

16 830

Grapes

19 299

Lettuce

5 743

Apples

8 846

Potatoes

4 335

Citrus

6 099

Tomatoes

3 780

Tree nuts

4 908

Carrots

3 323

Unclassified

10 261

Unclassified

18 550



Total

52 561

Total

49 413

Fruit production is led by certified organic grape production and apples. All citrus and all tree fruits (unclassified by product) represent the other major definable segments.

1.4 Top organic vegetable and fruit production states

Table 4: Top US organic vegetable acreage (1997)

State

Total vegetable acreage

As percent of totalvegetable acres

California

23 977

2.1

Colorado

4 621

8.7

Wisconsin

4 532

0.2

Washington

3 785

1.5

Arizona

3 081

2.8

Oregon

2 413

1.5

Minnesota

1 811

0.8

New York

1 615

1.0

Illinois

1 199

1.8

Florida

1 017

0.4

Source: USDA ERS report on US Organic Agriculture, updated April 2000.

Ten states have acreage over 1 000 acres in vegetable production. Of these states, five are capable of year round production; the remaining states are limited to summer vegetable production due to winter weather conditions.

While the total United States organic average is 1.3 percent of all vegetable acreage, some of the top ten production states exceed the national average, with Colorado leading with 8.7 percent of all vegetable acreage in organic production. Other states, such as Wisconsin, with similar organic vegetable acreage, report this acreage as only 0.2 percent of the state's total vegetable acreage.

Of the top ten states with organic fruit acreage, only seven states have over 1 000 acres in organic fruit production. Again, California is the leading state by a large margin, followed by Arizona, Washington and Florida. Grapes represent the largest acreage of organic fruit production, with 19 299 acres, or 39 percent, of total organic fruit acreage. Organic grape production is primarily in California, with over 95 percent of the national acreage. Apples represent the second largest segment with 8 846 acres followed by 6 099 acres in citrus and 4 908 acres in tree nuts.

Table 5: Top US organic fruit production states (1997)

State

Acres

California

32 582

Arizona

4 361

Washington

2 978

Florida

2 625

Colorado

1 816

Texas

1 344

Oregon

1 231

Minnesota

360

Michigan

337

New York

326

Source: USDA ERS report on US Organic Agriculture, updated April 2000.

1.5 Government policy on organic production

There is no United States Government programme to encourage farmers to switch to organic production. In fact, the existing farm support programmes and crop insurance programmes provided by the United States Government base their support on historical production and yields of affected fields and crops, which would be a disincentive to switching to organic production. There is a pilot programme to offer organic crop insurance, which would provide some crop insurance coverage for the first time for organic fresh produce. This insurance could cover hail and other climatic impacts which up to now have not been covered for organic fresh produce through conventional Government programmes.

Some individual states are providing assistance in conversion to organic production. Iowa has approved organic production as an approved state conservation practice. Minnesota has implemented a cost share programme that pays for two-thirds of the cost for organic inspection and certification. The consensus at the state level is that these programmes only assist those farmers who are already interested in organic production and do not encourage most large fresh produce producers to consider conversion.

Production assistance is delivered through the United States "land grant" university system, which designates a university within each state as the Land Grant or agricultural university. Through the university, county extension agents are located in most production regions, and the development of assistance for organic conversion is determined and directed on a state by state basis.

2. United States market for organic fresh produce

2.1 Introduction

The United States market for organic fresh produce consists of several key markets or market segments. The natural food store sector and the conventional markets both sell organic fresh produce at differing levels. The natural food store sector focuses on organic fresh produce, often complementing the organic products with conventional fresh produce to provide full fruit and vegetable coverage, while the conventional market features selected organic fresh produce to complement their conventional fresh produce offered.

The food service sector in the United States now equals or exceeds the United States household food expenditures at retail stores. There are no records or market research to indicate the food service sales of organic fresh produce to the food service sector. Interviews with United States organic fresh produce distributors indicate that the same distributors that service the natural food and conventional food service sectors are distributing organic fresh produce to the food service sector.

2.2 United States food retailers

The United States retail food store market for organic fresh produce is segmented into two primary sectors. The natural food store segment accounts for US$833 million in organic fresh fruits and vegetables, accounting for 69 percent of all fresh produce sold. The conventional supermarkets account for US$618 million in organic fresh fruits and vegetables sales, which represents just 2 percent of their total fresh produce sales. Combined, these two sectors represent US$1.45 billion in organic fresh produce sales in 1999. In 1999, organic fresh produce sales represented over 22 percent of the total US$6.5 billion in United States organic food sales.

2.3 Top United States retail store locations

In addition to differentiating the United States retail fresh produce market by store types, the United States market should be considered as separate markets by state or region. A review of the concentration of retail stores by state reveals that some markets should be considered separately. Very few companies launch products in the total United States. Most companies focus initially on a few key markets and then roll out a product nationally at a later stage.

Table 6: Top ten state locations of natural food stores

State

No. of stores

California

1 937

Florida

853

Texas

785

New York

715

Illinois

518

Pennsylvania

465

Ohio

414

Washington

390

New Jersey

356

Michigan

353

Source: National Business Lists.

The natural foods markets represent 12 256 retail stores. The two leading national chains, i.e. Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats have approximately 220 retail stores combined, indicating that this market is still predominately independent retail stores. The top ten states have over 50 percent of total retail outlets with 6 786 stores.

Conventional retail stores represent over 120 000 individual stores. Within the conventional market, there have been mergers resulting in a concentration of retail chains. The top 4 food retailers now have a market share of 28.8 percent of total sales in 1998, up from 15.9 percent in 1992. The top 20 retail chains now command 48.2 percent of the total retail food sales in 1998 up from 37 percent in 1992. This concentration is greater in the largest markets, with the top 8 retail chains controlling 85 percent of retail food sales in these markets.

2.4 Natural product retail store sales analysis

A natural food store is defined by the fact that at least 40 percent of sales are in natural foods (including organics). The natural product store segment provides the most detailed information about the organic food trends. In the Natural Foods Merchandiser annual report on the Natural Product Market (June 2000), a detailed analysis of the product segments in the natural products retailer segment provides growth trends by category.

Food sales represent 56 percent of the total retail sales in this market. Organic food represents 52 percent of total food sales or 29 percent of total retail sales for the store.

Organic fresh produce sales represent the largest segment of organic product sales at US$833 million. In addition to representing the largest organic sales, fresh produce has the largest percentage of organic products in the total sales, with 69.4 percent of all fresh produce sold classified as organic product.

Table 7: Natural product store sales by category (in million US$)

Product

1999 total sales

Category as % of total sales

Organic sales

% of categoryorganic

Frozen/refrigerated

795

5.8

323

40.60

Dairy

440

3.20

171

38.70

Non-dairy beverages (soy, rice, oat)

272

2.00

157

57.80

Bulk/packaged bulk

836

6.10

437

52.20

Fresh produce (fruit and vegetable)

1 201

8.80

833

69.40

Bakery

303

2.20

98

32.50

Packaged grocery

1 956

14.30

692

35.40

Fresh meat/seafood

349

2.60

35

10.10

Home meal replacement (HMR)

196

1.40

58

29.40

Beer/wine

106

0.80

6

5.30

Coffee/tea

209

1.50

78

37.50

Other beverages

224

1.60

68

30.50

Food service (deli, restaurant, juice bar)

487

3.60

127

26.10

Snack foods

297

2.20

89

30.10

Total food sales

7 671


3 172

58.65

Total non food sales

5 999




1999 total sales

13 670

100.00

4 002

29.30

1998 total sales

12 342

100.00

4 280

26.60

Source: Natural Foods Merchandiser, June 2000.

Packaged organic groceries were the second largest product sold at US$692 million. Packaged organic grocery sales only represented 35.4 percent of total sales, ranked seventh in percentage of category as organic products. Bulk and packaged bulk foods represented the third largest segment at US$437 million, of which 52.2 percent was organic. Other leading categories include frozen/refrigerated foods, dairy, non-dairy beverages such as soy, rice and oat based drinks, other beverages (juices and energy drinks), bakery, snack foods and coffee/teas.

2.5 Organic fresh produce sales in natural and mainstream supermarkets

In the natural foods market, organic fresh produce represents over 69 percent of all fresh produce sales. Store observations at the leading natural foods retail chain Whole Foods indicates that conventional fresh produce is stocked to provide fresh produce where organic products are not available.

On the other hand, in the conventional supermarkets fresh produce is offered as both organic and conventional. In the Fresh Trends 2001 report on fresh produce by The Packer, retailers indicated that organic fresh produce represents just 2 percent of their retail sales. A store check of two leading conventional supermarkets during this same time period indicated organic options were offered in addition to conventional fresh produce.

2.6 The organic premium

The premium for organic versus conventional fresh produce ranged from 11 percent to 121 percent in the conventional stores and from 50 to 167 percent in the natural food market. The limited number of similar conventional and organic products in the natural foods market makes any comparison less pertinent.

As for conventional supermarkets, one store's average premium for organic fresh produce was 36.8 percent, with a range from 11 percent to 67 percent, while at the competitor, the average was 47.9 percent ranging from zero percent to a 121 percent premium for an organic alternative to conventional fresh produce prices. No specific information is available on import and wholesale price premiums. But trade sources indicate that they usually correspond to those at retail level.

2.7 Conventional versus natural food store operations

The natural product store industry reported average gross profit margins of 31.2 percent in 1999. This is actually lower than the average gross margin within the conventional supermarket group, which reports an average of 35.5 percent gross margin. Conventional supermarkets report fresh produce as 9.7 percent of their total retail sales while the natural products retail group reports fresh produce contributing 8.8 percent of sales.

2.8 Retail price review

Table 8: Organic and conventional fresh produce availability and pricing


Whole Foods

Safeway

King Soopers

Value in USdollars

Organic

Conven.

Organic Premium (%)

Organic

Conven.

Organic Premium (%)

Organic

Conven.

Organic Premium (%)

FRUIT










Banana


0.39



0.59



0.59


D'anjou pear

1.99



1.49

0.99

51

1.69

1.49

13

Fuji apples

2.49




1.49



1.39


Gala apple

1.99



1.79

1.49

20

1.99

1.39

43

Granny Smith

1.99



1.69

1.29

31


1.39


Golden Delicious

1.29



1.49

1.29

16

1.69

1.39

22

Kiwi (each)

0.39




0.25


0.69



Lemons


0.39


1.99

1.79

11

1.99



Navel orange

0.99

3/1.00


0.99

0.89

11


0.39


Red Delicious

1.49



1.49

0.99

51

1.69

1.39

22

Grapefruit




1.29



1.29

0.79

63

VEGETABLES










Broccoli

1.79



1.99

1.49

34

2.49

1.49

67

Brocoflower

2.99

1.99

50.25







Cauliflower

1.49






2.49

1.99

25

Celery

1.99




0.89



0.99


Cucumber

3.99

1.49

167.79

2.49

1.49

67

2.69

1.49

81

Garnet yams

1.29




0.99



0.99


Green beans


2.49



1.99



2.99


Green bell pepper

3.99

2.49

60.24

2.99

2.49

20

3.49

2.99

17

Avocado - each


1.49



.50


1.99

.99

101

Iceberg lettuce -each


.99



.99



.99


Red cabbage


0.79








Red onion

0.79




1.19


1.49

1.49

0

Red potato

1.29




0.79



0.69


Red radishes (bunch)

1.99




0.99


1.99

0.9

121

Russet potato

0.99



0.79

0.49

61


0.59


Spinach

6.99



1.49

0.99

51

1.99



Sweet potato

1.29




0.99



0.99


White onion


1.49



1.29



1.49


Yellow onion

0.99



0.89

0.59

51


0.69


Source: Authors observations, February 2001.

2.9 United States per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables

Public consumption levels of organic fruits and vegetables are not known in the United States, but are thought to track the conventional fresh produce sales. United States consumers have been encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables for general health. A national programme to encourage increased fruit and vegetable consumption was initiated by the health care industry and agencies in the United States under the name and slogan "5 A DAY". This programme encourages United States consumers to eat at least five servings of fruits or vegetables each day for better health.

Table 9: US per capita consumption of fruit and vegetables (conventional and organic)


1989

1998

1989-98 change (%)

Total fruits

278.0

281.4

1.2

Fresh fruits

122.9

131.8

7.2

Canned fruit

21.2

17.3

-18.4

Dried fruit

13.2

12.8

-3.0

Frozen fruit

4.1

4.2

2.4

Tree nuts

2.2

2.3

4.5

Total vegetables

378.0

418.1

10.6

Fresh

172.2

186.5

8.3

Canned

102.4

108.0

5.5

Frozen

67.4

82.3

22.1

Dehydrated

29.8

32.9

10.4

Pulses

6.3

8.4

33.3

Source: USDA Agricultural Outlook, September 2000

United States per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables increased 6.6 percent from 1989 to 1998. Fruit consumption was up just 1.2 percent while vegetables increased 10.6 percent during the same time period.

While overall fruit consumption (fresh and processed) experienced very little growth, United States consumers increased their fresh fruit consumption by 7.2 percent from 1989 to 1998. United States consumption of canned and dried fruits declined during this period, 18.4 percent and 3.0 percent respectively.

United States vegetable consumption was up 10.6 percent during the same period, led by the increased consumption of frozen vegetables, up 22.1 percent during this period. Fresh vegetables represented 44.6 percent of all vegetables consumed and increased 8.3 percent from 1989. Frozen vegetables grew 22.1 percent during this time. Canned vegetables continue to be the second largest variety of vegetable consumption even though this segment grew slower than any other vegetable sector.

2.10 United States consumer attitudes on fresh produce

Fresh produce represents 8.8 percent of the sales at natural food stores and 9.7 percent at conventional supermarkets. The Fresh Trends, 2001 Profile of the Fresh Produce Consumer addressed the conventional fresh produce purchase, and highlighted emerging organic issues and opportunities.

Table 10: Primary factors impacting fresh produce purchases

87 percent

Expectations of taste

83 percent

General appearance

74 percent

Cleanliness

70 percent

Degree of ripeness

57 percent

Nutritional value

47 percent

Price

41 percent

Item in season

39 percent

Knowledge of how to prepare

33 percent

Appearance of display

27 percent

Complements main entrée

14 percent

Where it is grown

12 percent

Grown organically

Source: Fresh Trends, 2001 Profile of Fresh produce Consumer

The United States consumer has a variety of concerns that affect their fresh produce purchases. The primary factor in purchasing the product is the anticipated taste of the product. This would indicate that the introduction of new fresh produce should include provisions to provide consumer sampling at the retail level if possible. Equally important are the general appearance and the perception of cleanliness. Ripeness and nutritional value are also factors in the decision.

The United States consumer is increasingly focused on personal fitness and better nutrition and fresh produce is an important factor in a healthy lifestyle. Twenty-four percent of the consumers have indicated that they have started or increased their consumption of fresh produce as a diet or health requirement.

The location or origin of the fresh produce is a lesser factor to the general consumer. The awareness and desire for organic fresh produce, while not the primary factor in the purchasing decision, can contribute to the purchases.

The Fresh Trends survey revealed consumers have targeted specific fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Consumers reported that they have started eating or increased consumption of bananas, apples, oranges, broccoli, lettuce, carrots and tomatoes as the top fruit and vegetables to address their diet or health focus.

Table 11: Increased fruit and vegetable consumption attributed to diet or health requirement

Fruits

Vegetables

21 percent

Bananas

19 percent

Broccoli

17 percent

Apples

15 percent

Lettuce

14 percent

Oranges

14 percent

Carrots

8 percent

Strawberries

9 percent

Tomatoes

6 percent

Grapes

8 percent

Spinach

6 percent

Peaches

6 percent

Cauliflower

5 percent

Cantaloupe

6 percent

Beans



6 percent

Cabbage

Source: Fresh Trends, 2001.

Consumers were also surveyed about the use of biotechnology/GMO in the growth of their fresh produce, and 55 percent of those surveyed indicated that they were "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to purchase a fresh produce item that has been genetically modified. At the same time, 38 percent indicated that they were "not at all likely" or "not very likely" to purchase fresh produce that has been genetically modified.

2.11 Vegetarianism growth in the United States

Younger Americans are following vegetarian diets. As many as 20 percent of United States college students are reported to follow vegetarian diets with increasing numbers of students turning to the vegan programme of a strict vegetarian diet with no animal products. The vegetarian focus is not limited to the campus. Indeed, a report by the Vegetarian Research Group indicates that more than 55 percent of Americans will occasionally order a vegetarian meal at a restaurant.

The Fresh Trends 2001 report informed that twelve percent of the respondents indicated that a primary factor in their purchase decision was whether an item was organic or not. The Fresh Trends 2000 reports that 82 percent of the consumers had purchased organic vegetables in the past six months and 35 percent reported that they had bought organic fruits during the same time period.

Food safety is a factor impacting fresh produce purchases. Thirty-two percent of respondents indicated that they felt certain fresh produce items are more prone than other products for food safety concerns. Another study, by the Food Marketing Institute, indicates that 79 percent of the consumers report that they are completely or mostly confident that the food in their supermarket is safe. In the survey on safety, 65 percent of the respondents expressed concern about chemical residue on fresh produce. Only 34 percent felt confident that the Government agencies do a good job at ensuring the safety of fresh product.

Only 20 percent felt confident that fresh produce grown outside the United States was as safe as that grown in the United States. A core group of 16 percent indicated that they would buy organic fresh produce when discussing the safety of their fresh produce purchases.

3. Imports of fruits and vegetables into the United States

3.1 Introduction

Imported food (regardless of organic production systems) is regulated by several federal agencies. These include:

A detailed review of each agency's role in regulating all food (imported and domestic) is available from the relevant Web sites.

3.2 United States regulations impacting organic and conventional fruits and vegetables

3.2.1 Organic certification

Effective October 2002, any fruit and vegetable labelled or shipped as organic will require certification by an approved certifier based on the US National Organic Standards. Until this time, there is no United States Government regulation or oversight on organic declarations of fruits and vegetables, which means that imports of organic products are usually done by a United States importer in cooperation with a United States certification body.

For United States organic fresh producers and for exporters targeting the United States market, there are several key factors in the implementation of these standards. All certifiers who apply for USDA certification within the first six months (by August 2001) will have their application reviewed and on compliance, approved by the April 2002 effective date. An application is available at the Web site for the US National Organic Programme. http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/.

Beginning in October 2002, the USDA Organic Seal will be allowed on organic products marketed in the United States. In addition to the Organic Standards, any fresh produce shipped to the United States must also comply with all existing USDA regulations for conventional fresh produce. These regulations and guidelines are constantly changing. In preparation for exporting any produce to the US, it is advisable to contact the USDA office within the United States Embassy in the producing country to determine the current regulations for shipping fresh produce to the United States.

Complying with the United States National Organic Programme (NOP)

For certification of organic products to be exported to the United States, the exporter has three certification options.

In lieu of USDA accreditation, a foreign certifying agent may:

In practical terms, any group considering exporting organic products to the United States should identify a certifying group that has or will receive United States certification approval. The United States based organizations with overseas offices will be able to certify all locations when they are approved by the USDA for organic certification.

Greater details on the NOP, as well as the full regulations and an application form for accreditation, are available at the USDA NOP Web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/.

3.2.2 Import requirements for all fresh produce (including organic)

Phytosanitary certification

Import requirements depend on both the product and the country of origin. A phytosanitary certificate issued by an official of the exporting country must accompany all fruit and vegetables shipments to the United States. This official will be able to determine if the particular fruit or vegetable can be exported to the United States and what phytosanitary requirements must be met for export to the United States. The control of this process is with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Pesticide and other contaminants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes standards for tolerances for pesticides, herbicide and fungicides used in the fumigation of agricultural products. Regulations on tolerance levels are applied to all chemically treated products intended for human and animal consumption in the United States. Fresh producers must only use chemicals which are registered for use on a specific commodity or group of specifically indicated commodities and in accordance with the direction on the package. The United States FDA will test products entering the United States for compliance with EPA regulations on pesticide, fungicide and herbicide residues.

Grade and quality standards

Certain agricultural commodities exported to the United States must meet import requirements relating to size, grade, quality and maturity. A certificate based on an inspection must be issued by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS) to indicate import compliance. Imported goods (including organic fresh produce) must meet the same standards applied to United States products. Products include:

Fresh tomatoes

Avocados, mangoes

Limes

Oranges

Grapefruit

Green peppers

Irish potatoes

Cucumbers

Eggplants

Dry onions

Walnuts and filberts

Processed dates

Prunes

Raisins

Olives in tins

Import clearance

The United States Customs Service (Customs), a division of the United States Treasury Department, is responsible for the final approval and authorization for importation of all products. United States Customs reviews all documentation for the shipment against requirements and will not release goods from the port of entry until all United States Government requirements are met. They are also responsible for the collection of any import duties due to the United States Government.

Overview of import procedure

For goods to legally enter the United States, they must first arrive at the port of entry (precluding pre-shipment import authorization). Customs entry papers may be presented to the United States Customs Service before the merchandise arrives to expedite the clearance.

All importers have the right to process the paperwork and complete the documentation for import. In addition, there are United States Customs Service licensed commercial brokers (referred to as customs brokers) who typically act as the importers agent for the preparation and filing of the paperwork for entry of the goods with Customs.

The goods are processed for entry into the United States at the first port of arrival unless prior arrangements have been made for in-bond shipment to another port or a bonded warehouse.

Customs does not notify the importer of the arrival of any shipment. The carrier of the shipment typically notifies the importer. The importer makes their own arrangements to insure notification of arrival and timely filing of import documentation. The importer (or agent) has 30 days to submit import documentation. After 30 days, the goods are sent to a general order warehouse to be held as unclaimed. The importer is then responsible for storage charges, and the goods will be sold after one year if unclaimed.

Documentation for merchandise entry

The documents required by United States Customs for releasing imports are:

Ten steps to faster Customs clearance

United States Customs service has developed the following steps to assist shippers and importers in facilitating the release of legitimate imported merchandise to the United States:

1. Make sure that your invoices contain the information that would be shown on a well-prepared packing list.

2. Mark and number each package so that it can be identified with the corresponding marks and numbers appearing on your invoice.

3. Show on your invoice a detailed description of each item of goods contained in each individual package.

4. Mark your goods legibly and conspicuously with the name of the country of origin, unless they are specifically exempted from the country of origin marking requirements, and with such other marking as required by the marking laws of the United States. Exemptions and general marking requirements are detailed in Chapters 24 and 25 of Importing into the United States.

5. Comply with the provisions of any special laws of the United States which may apply to your goods, such as the laws relating to food, drugs, cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, and radioactive materials.

6. Observe closely the instructions with respect to invoicing, packaging, marking, labelling, etc. sent to you by your customer in the United States. The customer has probably made a careful check of the requirements which will have to be met when you arrive.

7. Work with United States Customs in developing packing standards for your commodities.

8. Establish sound security procedures at your facility and while transporting your goods for shipment. Do not allow narcotics smugglers the opportunity to introduce narcotics into your shipment.

9. Consider shipping on a carrier participating in the Automated Manifest System.

10. If you use a licensed customs broker to handle the transaction, consider using a firm that participates in the Automated Broker Interface (ABI).

United States fresh produce import duty rates

United States import duty rates vary by product as well as by country of origin. The same rates apply whether a product is organic or conventional. To determine the applicable import duty rate, the HS product classification code has to be identified. With this code, access the United States Treasury Web site at: http://dataweb.usitc.gov.

At this site enter the HS code of the commodity in question and determine the United States import duty rate. In addition to providing information on the import duty by region, this provides additional information by commodity including the two-year trends and current year to date changes:

3.3 United States fruit and vegetable imports and the organic potential

The United States imports over US$6 billion in fruits and vegetables each year. There is no record of what percentage of these imports represent organic fresh produce. While United States imports increased 6.3 percent overall in 2000 versus 1999 for the reported fresh produce, the commodity by commodity reports indicate a strong annual change, from up to 49 percent increases (avocados) to 40 percent decreases (garlic).

While the actual value of organic fresh produce imported to the United States is unknown, the Fresh Trends 2001 report indicates that overall United States retail fresh produce sales include two percent organic fresh produce. While this does not account for food service fresh produce sales, using the two percent factor represents a minimum potential market for organic fresh produce, though it will be higher for some products and lower for others. For bananas, for example, market research for this report did receive industry estimates on organic bananas of about 23 500 metric tonnes in 2000, i.e., less than 1 percent of total banana imports.

Further analysis is encouraged for any group targeting the United States market. Those suppliers who can ship fresh produce to the United States during the winter months will find a greater reception at the market. The US retailer responds to the consumer, who wants a consistent year-round supply of their fruits and vegetables, which will carry over to the organic market.

Table 12: US total fruit and vegetable imports and the theoretical organic potential


CY 1999 (US$1 000)

CY 2000 (US$1 000)

Change in 2000%

Organic Potential (US$1 000)

Nuts and preps

759 609

771 398

1.60

15 428

Tomatoes

689 322

640 281

-7.10

12 806

Grapes - fresh

538 926

552 054

2.40

11 041

Cashew nuts

447 775

456 764

2.00

9 135

Peppers

328 342

455 687

38.80

9 114

Potatoes, fresh or frozen

382 105

435 865

14.10

8 717

Other vegs - fr or froz

275 272

305 762

11.10

6 115

Melons

291 626

260 989

-10.50

5 220

Citrus, fresh

250 248

224 151

-10.40

4 483

Cucumbers

141 873

177 200

24.90

3 544

Cauliflower and broccoli, fr/fz

169 619

161 683

-4.70

3 234

Mangoes

150 977

144 927

-4.00

2 899

Onions

144 311

137 464

-4.70

2 749

Pineapples, fresh or frozen

125 263

133 993

7.00

2 680

Berries, excl strawberries

114 015

133 265

16.90

2 665

Other fruits, fresh or froz

104 774

121 647

16.10

2 433

Asparagus, fresh or frozen

114 271

119 979

5.00

2 400

Squash

99 827

112 392

12.60

2 248

Avocados

72 428

107 913

49.00

2 158

Apples, fresh

111 746

92 310

-17.40

1 846

Strawberries, fresh or froz

100 433

83 893

-16.50

1 678

Pears

78 183

80 652

3.20

1 613

Pecans

72 949

78 714

7.90

1 574

Other nuts

74 802

72 749

-2.70

1 455

Beans, fresh or frozen

39 703

42 998

8.30

860

Peaches

42 943

39 716

-7.50

794

Peas, incl. chickpeas

47 935

37 318

-22.10

746

Macadamia nuts

32 447

36 327

12.00

727

Kiwi fruit, fresh

39 396

36 134

-8.30

723

Brazil nuts

21 269

27 499

29.30

550

Garlic

45 840

27 447

-40.10

549

Eggplant

21 983

24 084

9.60

482

Plums

26 097

23 530

-9.80

471

Carrots, fresh or frozen

26 925

23 127

-14.10

463

Lettuce

14 107

20 247

43.50

405

Water chestnuts

21 809

20 218

-7.30

404

Filberts

25 261

18 891

-25.20

378

Mustard

18 767

16 198

-13.70

324

Radishes, fresh

11 653

14 923

28.10

298

Okra, fresh or frozen

11 374

12 263

7.80

245

Cabbage

9 470

10 504

10.90

210

Celery, fresh

9 348

10 466

12.00

209

Chestnuts

10 972

9 957

-9.20

199

Endive, fresh

5 678

4 146

-27.00

83

Pistachio nuts

2 356

2 060

-12.60

41

Total

6 124 025

6 319 783

6.3

126 396

Source: USDA Economic Research Service Organic Projection by author.

3.4 Organic fresh produce importers

The key to accessing the United States market is the fresh produce importer. Retailers, whether the natural food retailer sector or the conventional retailer, utilize fresh produce distributors for obtaining their organic fresh produce. Most of the importer/distributors focus on regional markets. With five states containing over 500 natural food stores (and over 5 000 conventional retail stores) each, the market within just one of the top five states makes a significant market.

Fresh produce importers/distributors are responsible for the importation, warehousing and distribution of the product. Some importers will function as the importer and distributor within a region and sell the fresh produce to other wholesalers for servicing other markets.

While no sales volume figures are available for individual importers/distributors of organic fresh produce, Annex I contains the name and contact information for key importers/distributors of organic fresh produce. A sample of the products and prices offered by one organic distributor is available in Annex II.

3.5 Constraints to import growth

The increases in retail sales of organic fresh produce will develop market by market. It is important to visualize the United States market by region rather than single markets. The greatest potential for imported organic fresh produce is to fill the market void during the winter. Distributor interviews for this report indicated that organic produce offer great potential, provided the products offered match the quality, taste and price expected by the market. One distributor commented that his customers (the retailers) would not fill their shelves with inferior organics, they would rather only present conventional produce if a quality organic product was not available. It should be noted that 29 percent of the total natural foods retail stores exist in California, Texas and Florida, which also have the longest growing season. There is some market resistance to imported fresh produce since 41 percent of consumers seek "in season" fresh produce and 14 percent are concerned about where the fresh produce is grown.

With the establishment of US National Organic Standards, all fresh produce imported as organic will be required to comply with the standards. During the transition, it will be critical for exporters to insure that their current organic certifying group is obtaining United States certification approval and after April 2002, only certifiers recognized by the USDA will be allowed to classify fresh produce as organic for the United States market.

The United States is a major exporter of fresh produce and is developing an export market for organic fresh produce. This will represent a world competitor to other exporters who produce and compete within the same harvest period. Careful analysis to identify competing harvest periods with the United States organic industry will identify conflicts that will constrict sales opportunities to the United States market.

A growing issue with United States retailers is requiring fresh produce arrive at the store with the Price Look Up (PLU) stickers affixed to the fresh produce. PLU stickers provide a standardized set of numbers identifying random weight items at a retail checkout. Numbers are assigned by the Product Electronic Identification Board to provide a four-digit number to identify each type, size and grade of fresh produce available for automated pricing based on weight at the checkout stand. Fresh Produce Marketing Associations' [PMA] Fresh produce Electronic Identification Board Guide to Coding Fresh Produce provides a comprehensive guide to the latest UPC and PLU numbers for fresh fruits and vegetables. See industry contacts in Annex I for PMA contact information. The importer/distributor can coordinate this programme for exporters.

4. Conclusions and market opportunities for developing countries

The United States is a major importer of fruits and vegetables from around the world. These imports are typically counter-seasonal to the United States harvest and represent a guide for targeting organic fresh produce for export to the United States. The overall United States per capita consumption of fruits and vegetables is rising. Fresh fruit consumption is up 7.2 percent and fresh vegetable consumption is up 8.3 percent from 1989 to 1998.

The establishment of National Organic Standards and their promotion in the period leading to full implementation in October of 2002 will greatly increase the United States consumer awareness of organic products. Since 1999, there has been an increased focus on organic foods by the major United States consumer food product brands. Major companies have purchased existing organic food companies and introduced product line extensions of existing national brands with an organic focus. Mergers within the industry have also consolidated organic and natural food brands to create stronger market forces.

Industry interviews have indicated that additional major United States consumer food product companies are preparing organic products for introduction into the United States market. As these products enter the United States market with their accompanying advertising budgets, the consumer will receive a new level of promotion for organic products is expected to increase, resulting in enhanced consumer awareness of all organic products.

The United States retail sector will respond to this public demand by providing a broader range of organic fresh produce. This will also increase organic fresh produce imports to provide year-round availability. Recent trade announcements illustrate this trend. Pavich, the largest United States organic grape fresh producer has announced a marketing arrangement to bring organic table grapes to the United

States from South Africa to supplement their marketing programme when local production is not available. One distributor interviewed indicated that he was interested in tropical produce. Another indicated "I could buy organic coloured bell peppers nine months a year if I could find a source."

4.1 How to proceed

Organic fresh produce exporters targeting the United States market should focus on shipping their products to the United States during the winter season in the United States. In reviewing individual fresh produce options, it would be useful to analyze the United States imports of similar products to determine the months of the year that the United States is importing specific products. The trade publication group for the US industry, The Packer, publishes an annual "Fresh Produce Availability & Merchandising Guide" which provides market availability reports on over 70 different fruits and vegetables, which highlight United States state production averages as well as primary import sources and months of shipment to the United States. With very few exceptions, the United States market imports most varieties of fresh produce sold in the United States during certain seasons.

Importers interviewed for this report indicate that import programmes offer great potential, if they include a well organized transportation programme to deliver quality products. The programme must pack products according to specifications, or find a key importer in three-four areas who can repack to the United States market specifications.

The United States offers market opportunities for common and exotic fruits and vegetables. Nuts, tomatoes, grapes, peppers and potatoes each represent over US$400 million in imports each year. Nine different vegetables and six fruits each represent an import market for over US$100 million each. Growing public awareness and desire for year round organic fresh produce makes the United States a significant market opportunity. Retailers including organic products will be seeking year round availability for organic fresh produce as the market demand increases.

4.2 Top organic vegetable prospects include:

Asparagus, fresh or frozen
Avocados
Beans, fresh or frozen
Carrots, fresh or frozen
Cauliflower and broccoli, fr/fz
Celery, fresh
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Endive, fresh
Lettuce
Mustard
Okra, fresh or frozen
Onions
Peppers
Potatoes, fresh or frozen
Radishes, fresh
Squash
Tomatoes
Cabbage
Garlic
Peas, incl. chickpeas
4.3 Top organic fruit and nut prospects include:
Nuts and preps
Grapes, fresh
Cashew nuts
Melons
Citrus, fresh
Mangoes
Pineapples, fresh or frozen
Berries, excl strawberries
Apples, fresh
Strawberries, fresh or frozen
Pears
Pecans
Other nuts
Peaches
Macadamia nuts
Kiwi fruit, fresh
Brazil nuts
Plums
Water chestnuts
Filberts
Chestnuts
Pistachio nuts
In addition to the conventional products the United States consumer is experimenting with a wide range of specialty crops.

4.4 Suggestions for entering the United States market

References

American Business Lists, American Business Information, Inc., 5711 S. 86th. Circle, Omaha, Nebraska, 68127, Tel: 402-592-9000, Fax: 402-331-1505

Briefing report on Organic farming and marketing, December 2000, USDA, Economic Research Service, Web: www.usda.gov

Consolidation in Food Retailing, Prospects for Consumers & Grocery Suppliers, USDA/Economic Research Service, Web: www.usda.gov

Food and Beverage Market Place, Grey House Publishing, Pocket Knife Square, Lakeville, CT 06039, www:greyhouse.com, Tel: 860-435-0868, Fax: 860-435-3004

Foreign Agricultural Trade of the US Database, USDA, Economic Research Service, Web: www.usda.gov

Fresh Trends, 2001 Profile of the Fresh Produce Consumer, The Packer, Vance Publishing Corp., 10901 W. 84th. Terr., Lenexa, KS 66214-1631, Tel: 913-438-8700

International Convention & Exposition Directory, October, 2000, Fresh produce Marketing Association (PMA), PO Box 6036, Newark, Delaware, 17414-6036, Tel: 302-738-7100, Fax: 302-731-2409, Web: www.pma.com

Natural Foods Merchandiser, June 2000, New Hope Natural Media, 1401 Pearl Street, Boulder, Colorado 80302, Tel: 303-998-9126, customerservice@newhope.com, Web: www.newhope.com

National Organic Directory, 2000, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, PO Box 363, Davis, CA 95617-0363, Tel: 530-756-8518, Fax: 530-756-7857, Email: caff@caff.org; Web: www.caff.org

2000 Fresh produce Availability and Merchandising Guide, The Packer, Vance Publishing Corp., 10901 W. 84th. Terr., Lenexa, KS 66214-1631, Tel: 913-438-8700

Understanding the Dynamics of Fresh produce Markets, August 2000, USDA, Economic Research Service, Web: www.usda.gov

Annex I
Selected addresses
Organic fresh produce importer/distributors

Albert’s Organics
1330 East, 6th. Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tel: 213-891-1310
Fax: 213-891-9291
www.albertsorganics.com
Leading wholesale distributor of
organic fresh produce with
warehouses in Los Angeles, New
Jersey, Colorado and Florida

Beta Pure Foods
335 Spreckels Drive Ste. D
Aptos, CA 95003
Tel: 831-685-6565
Fax: 831-685-6569
Morr@betapure.com
www.betapure.com
Supplies ingredients to natural
foods industry

Bocchi Americas, Inc.
1113 Admiral Peary Way, Navy
Yard, Philadelphia, PA 19112
Tel: 215-462-7540
Fax: 215-462-7542
Bam@bocchiamericas.com

Boulder Fruit Express, Inc.
340 South Taylor Ave.
Louisville, CO 80027
Tel: 303-666-4242
Fax: 303-666-0323
www.boulderfruit.com
Promotes and distributes organic
perishables through the Rocky
Mountains and Midwest.

Frank Capurra & Son
2250 Salinas Road, PO Box 410
Moss Landing, CA 92039
Tel: 931-728-1767
Fax: 831-728-4807

CF Fresh/Rootabaga Enterprises
PO Box 665
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284
Tel: 530-676-9147
Fax: 530-676-9148
deidre@directcon.net
Represents organic fruit and
vegetables growers world-wide

Charlie’s Fresh produce
PO Box 24606
Seattle, CA 98124
Tel: 206-625-1412
Fax: 206-682-4331
Importer, warehouse of specialty
organic fresh produce

C.H. Robinson Company
8100 Mitchell Rd, Ste 9000
Eden Prairier, MN 55344
Tel: 952-937-8500
Fax: 952-937-7703
Sheila.tanquist@chrobinson.com
www.chrobinson.com

Cris-P Fresh produce Co., Inc.
2811-2 North Palenque Ave.
PO Box 7348
Nogales, AZ 85628
Tel: 520-281-9233
Fax: 520-281-4699

Crown Pacific International, LLC
PO BOX 11360
Hilo, HI 96721
Tel: 808-966-4348
Fax: 808-966-4167
crown_pacific@yahoo.com

Demel Enterprises, Inc.
10980 Northpoint Drive
Athens, OH 45701
Tel: 740-592-5800
Fax: 740-593-5900
Importing organic herbs, spices,
medicinal roots and teas

Dunn Natural Products L.C.
4734 Sergeant Rd.
Waterloo, IA 50701
Tel: 319-233-5504
Fax: 319-233-9452
Imports and distributes organic
fresh produce

Farmers Fruit Express
PO Box 73, Leggett, CA 95585
Tel: 707-925-6453
Fax: 707-925-6454
ffx@humbolt.net
Specializes in organic fresh
produce

ForesTrade, Inc.
36 Park Place, Ste. 200
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Tel: 802-257-9157
Fax: 802-257-7619
ftrade@sover.net
Importer of organic spices and
essential oils

Frieda's Inc.
4465 Corporate Center Drive
Los Alamitos, CA 90720-2561
Tel: 714-826-6100
Fax: 714-816-0273
friedas@aol.com
www.friedas.com

Garden State Farms
3655 South Lawrence Street
Philadelphia, PA 191148-5610
Tel: 215-463-8000
Fax: 215-467-1144
www.procaccibrossalescorp.com

Global Berry Farms
2241 Trade Center Way, Ste A
Naples, FL 34109
Tel: 941-591-1664
Fax: 941-591-8133
mklackle@blueberries.com

Jonathans Organics
170 Middleboro Road
East Freetwon, MA 02717
Tel: 508-763-5505
Fax: 508-763-2334
Jonathan@capecod.net
Importer and distributor of full line
of organic fruits and vegetables

J & J Distributing
653 Rice Street
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Tel: 651-221-0560
Fax: 651-221-0570
Kevinh@jjdst.com
www.jjdst.com
Importer and wholesaler

JBJ Distributing
PO Box 1287
Fullerton, CA 92831
Tel: 714-992-4920
Fax: 714-992-0433
Broker/distributor of organic and
conventional fruit and vegetables

Maui Fresh International
391 Taylor Blvd Ste 105
Pleasant Hill, CA 4523
Tel: 925-676-6284
Fax: 925-676-6339
mike@mfresh.com

Melissa's
5325 S. Soto St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Tel: 800-468-7111
Fax: 323-588-2242
hotline@melissas.com
www.melissas.com

New World Marketing dba:
Made in Nature Fresh
2902 East La Palma Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92806
Tel: 714-632-0300
Fax: 714-632-0345
garffH@newworldmktg.com
Importer/distributor of organic
fresh produce

Northbest Natural Products
PO Box 1976
Vashon, WA 98070
Tel: 206-463-4000
Fax: 206-463-4001
Info@northbest.com
Importer and warehouse of organic
products

Oneonta
One Oneonta Way
Wenatchee, WA 98807
Tel: 509-663-2631
Fax: 509-663-6333
scottm@oneonta.com
www.oneonta.com

Oregon Organic Marketing, Inc.
358 West 8th. Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401
Tel: 541-687-9535
Fax: 541-687-9536
Hollyh@oregonorganic.com
www.oregonorganic.com
Specializes in organic fruits and
vegetables

Pacific Organic Fresh Produce
1311 Sutter Street Ste. 203
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tel: 415-673-5555
Fax: 415-673-5585
Steve@pacorg.com
www.pacorg.com
Importer and representative of
organic growers and packers in US
and South America

Procacci Brothers Sales Corp.
3655 S. Lawrence Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148-5610
Tel: 215-463-8000
Fax: 215-467-1144
www.procaccibrossalescorp.com

RLB Food Distributors
2 Dedrick Place, CN 2285
West Caldwell, NJ 07007
Tel: 973-575-9526
Fax: 973-575-4811
Rlb@rlbfood.com
www.rlbfood.com
Supplies full line of conventional
and organic fruits and vegetables

Sutherland Fresh Produce Sales, Inc.
11651 Shadow Glen Road
Al Cajon, CA 92020
Tel: 619-588-9911
Fax: 619-588-9595
Broker of organic fresh produce
from grower to distributor

United Apple Sales, Inc.
12 S. Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561-1602
Tel: 845-256-1500
Fax: 845-256-9550
www.unitedapplesales.com

Valley Center Packing Co. Inc.
28425 South Cole Grade Road
Mail: PO Box 1920
Valley Center, CA 92082
Tel: 460-749-5464
Fax: 760-749-2898
vcp@tfb.com
Importer and packer of organic
citrus, avocados and seasonal
exotics

Veritable Vegetables
1100 Cesar Chavez Street
San Francisco, CA 94124
Tel: 415-641-3500
Fax: 415-641-3505

Ksalinger@vertablevegetables.com
Importer wholesaler of organic
fresh produce

Best Fresh produce Inc.
220 Food Centre Drive
Bronx, NY 10474
Tel: 718-617 8300 ext. 243&227
Fax: 718-991 9748
markhill@orderfresh produce.com
www.orderfresh produce.com

Del Cabo
2450 Stage Road
Pescadero, CA 94060
Tel: 415-879-0580
Fax: 415-879-0930
Importer/wholesaler/distributor

Industry Associations

Fresh Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
1500 Casho Mill Road
Newark, Delaware, 19711
Tel: 302-738-7100
Fax: 302-731-2409
webmaster@mail.pma.com
www.pma.com
Trade association for fresh
produce industry

Organic Trade Association (OTA)
PO Box 547
Greenfield, MA 01302
Tel: 413-774-7511
Fax: 413-774-6432
info@ota.com
www.ota.com

Trade Publications

The Packer
Vance Publishing Corporation
PO Box 2939
Overland Park, Kansas 66202
Tel:913-451-2200
Fax: 913-451-5821
Weekly newspaper on fresh
produce industry

Natural Foods Merchandiser
New Hope Natural Media
1401 Pearl St.
Boulder, Colorado 80302
303-939-8440
customerservice@newhope.com
www.newhope.com
Monthly magazine for the natural
and organic products industry and
organizer of Expo East and Expo
West, major trade shows for
natural products industry

Produce Business News
Phoenix Media Network, Inc.
PO Box 810425
Boca Raton, FL 334821-0425
Tel: 561-447-0810
Fax: 561-368-9125
Monthly magazine servicing fruit,
vegetable and floral industry.

Natural Business Communications
PO Box 7370
Boulder, Colorado 80306
Tel: 303-442-8983
Fax: 303-440-7741
info@naturalbusiness.com
www.naturalbusiness.com
www.lohasjournal.com
Monthly magazine on business,
financial and investment news on
natural and organic products
industry

Selected certification bodies

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
Contact Sue Teneyck
1115 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel: 831-423-2263
Fax: 831-423-4528
www.ccof.org

Farm Verified Organic
Contact: Annie Kirschenmann
5449 45th Street SE
Medina, ND 58467
Tel: 701-486-3578
Fax: 701-486-3580
FVOINTL@aol.com

Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, Inc.
Contact: Marty Mesh
PO Box 12311
Gainesville, Florida 32604
Tel: 352- 377- 6345
Fax: 352- 377-8363
fogoffice@aol.com
www.foginfo.org

Global Organic Alliance, Inc.
Contact: Betty Kananen
3185 TWP Road 179
PO Box 530
Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
Tel: 937- 593-1232
Fax: 937- 593-9507
kananen@logan.net

Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA)
Contact: Diane Bowen
1001 Y Street, Suite B
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508-1172
Tel: 402-477-2323
Fax: 402-477-4325
info@ocia.org
www.ocia.org

Organic Growers and Buyers Association (OGBA)
Contact: Sue Cristan
8525 Edinbrook Crossing, Ste 3
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Tel: 763-424-2450 or 800-677-6422
Fax: 763-315-2733
ogba@goldengate.net
www.ogba.org

Oregon Tilth Certified Organic
Contact: Pete Gonzalves
1800 Hawthorn NE - Suite 200
Salem, Oregon 97303
Tel: 503- 378-0690
Fax: 503- 378-0809
http://www.tilth.org
organic@tilth.org

Quality Assurance International (QAI)
Contact: Marian Casazza
12526 High Bluff Dr, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92130
Tel: 858-792-3531
Fax: 858-792-8665
qai@qai-inc.com
www.qai-inc.com

Washington State Department of Agriculture
Contact: Miles McEvoy
PO Box 42560
Olympia, Washington 98504-2560
Tel: 360-902-1877
360-902-2087
mmcevoy@agr.wa.gov

Annex II
Sample importer/wholesaler prices on organic fresh produce for March 2001 from a US fresh produce importer/broker (in US dollars)

Commodity

Size

Pack size

Price at each coast


Country of origin








New Jersey

California

Bananas





Ecuador

40lb

Premium


18.50

Dominican

40lb

Premium

18.50


Peruvian

40lb

Premium

18.50


Location: California




Choice

Fancy

Navel oranges





California

48

Carton

18.00

20.00

56

Carton

18.00

25.00

72

Carton

18.00

25.00

88

Carton

16.00

18.00

Bag

10/4lb

14.00

16.50

Location: California




Choice

Fancy

Lemons





California

 

75

Carton

14.00

17.00

95

Carton

15.00

18.00

115

Carton

13.00

16.00

140

Carton

11.00

14.00

165

Carton

10.00

12.00

18x2lb

Bag

11.00

14.00

Location: California




#1

#2

Avocado





California

84 ct.


30.00

15.50

Hass

 

32 ct.


40.00

20.00

36 ct.


40.00

20.00

40 ct.


45.00

25.00

48 ct.


45.00

25.00

60 ct.


40.00

20.00

70 ct.


40.00

20.00

Location: California

Pineapple





Mexico

 

5 ct.


14.50


6 ct.


14.50


7 ct.


14.50


Location: California

Mango





Mexico





Tommy

8-14 ct.


11.00





New Jersey

California

Bartlett pears





Argentina

90 ct


30.40

34.40

100 ct.


30.40

34.40

110 ct.


32.40

36.40

120 ct.


32.40

36.40


1 This is the latest figure available and was updated by USDA ERS in April 2000. No other figure could be found when this report was prepared.

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