Organic produce consumption is on the rise, which means so is organic produce shipping. According to a 2017 report done by the Organic Trade Association, organic food sales increased by 8.4 percent in 2016. Produce continues to be the largest organic food category, with a 5.3 percent growth in 2017. Fresh produce accounts for 90 percent of the organic produce sales. With more focus on healthy living, consumers want more foods that are free of toxic or synthetic fertilizers, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors.
Organic produce may come with less unwanted elements, but the trade-off is that it comes with more rules and time sensitivity. Since organic produce is more perishable and has a shorter shelf life, transportation needs to be fast. Nor can there be any break in the cold chain link due to the perishability. Some of the extra steps that have to happen in the transportation process include:
- trucks must be pre-cooled
- trucks must be properly refrigerated and monitored
- most organic foods cannot be stored with other products due to contamination risk
- if stored space is shared, organics must be carefully separated from non-organics
- any equipment used for non-organic products must not be used for organic produce
The goal in the transportation process is to make sure the organic certification is not sabotaged from pick up to delivery. The USDA organic certification process is thorough so consumers can trust the product is truly organic. No one wants to pay the price for an organic item for it to be falsely advertised. Nor does the producer want to lose the organic certification on a product due to a disruption in the transportation process.
Shipping organic food needs experts who use creative problem-solving skills, have great customer service, and stay up-to-date with regulations. Third-party logistics brokers are a great partner to consider when shipping organic produce. They are flexible and accustomed to solving problems quickly. They are experienced with logistic challenges for a range of customers and industries. Using a 3PL provides you access to their large carrier base, rather than having to search for one yourself. Often these carriers are thoroughly vetted and experienced in specific niches. By using a 3PL, shippers can also gain access to their cutting-edge technology, such as a Transportation Management System. This offers the visibility and monitoring required from pick up to delivery of organic produce. Working with a 3PL offers cold storage warehouse solutions to be available and arranged.
One of the best places to learn more about transparent partnerships when it comes to moving organic produce all over the world is at the Global Organic Produce Expo in Hollywood, Florida, January 28-30th, 2021. Trinity Logistics, a Burris Logistics company, often exhibits at the expo. Keep an eye out about our attendance at the expo this year, so we can talk with you in person about your possible freight solutions.
With shipping organic produce and all the regulations that come with it, you must have commitment and a passion for it. Consider choosing a partner who is just as committed to your business needs in shipping organic produce. Trinity Logistics has been in business for over 40 years and has the knowledge and passion for arranging freight of all sorts. Click below to request a quote with Trinity Logistics.