DEAR NEW FARM:
I am from the Caribbean and am contemplating producing organic
food for export. Do you have any suggestion or advice? I would
greatly appreciate your input. Thanks a lot for your help.
Bertha D. Joseph
We asked the advice of our friend Rick Martinez, former
president of the Independent Organic Inspectors Association
(with inspection experience in more than 30 countries), current
president of Organic Integrity International (a consulting
firm), and founder and executive director of Sweetwater Organic
Community Farm, 200 member CSA Educational Farm located in
Tampa, Florida. Here’s what Rick had to say.
“The best approach is to first determine destination
markets. Next is to search for the certification agencies
accredited or best suited to provide services that are recognized
in the target markets. If the United States is the primary
destination market, this boils down to a certification agency
that is USDA accredited, of which there are many listed
on the USDA, NOP Web site at www.ams.usda.gov/nop/indexIE.htm.
[Editor’s note: You can also check out the
New Farm Certifier Directory at www.newfarm.org/ocdbt.]
The next criterion is cost. If the destination market is
the U.S. and Europe, it would be worthwhile to research
the fees and areas of expertise of certifiers close to the
projected ports of entry of your product.”
us with comments, suggestions and questions.