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International shipping of Organic Foods

Aug 3, 2008
Organic foods are agricultural products that are grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. When you purchase them in a supermarket, you may wonder why they are always more expensive than foods that have been grown using the advances of modern science. Part of the answer why is the cost of international shipping, which is higher for organic foods than it is for other agricultural products. International shipping companies have to take special precautions with organic foods and need to use specialty containers for shipping.

Large portions of the organic foods that are consumed in Europe are grown on the farms of Africa. This seems to be against the laws of nature because Africa has more natural pests that can destroy crops than anywhere else in the world. Regardless of that, they are still the largest producers of organic foods in the world and a regular stop for international shipping companies that specialize in the delivery of those foods.

When most agricultural products are transported they are sprayed with a pesticide that kills any existing insect pests and prevents new ones from breeding during the transport process. This cannot be done with organic foods. Produce and vegetables have to carefully examined by hand and washed with clean water before they can be packaged. They are then placed in a temperature controlled container which is sealed and loaded aboard ship. The ship transports the organic food to its destination and the cargo is offloaded and sent directly to retail locations for sale.

The danger with organic food is that there are no chemicals used so it has no preservatives to keep it from deteriorating. This is another part of the reason why it is so expensive. Retailers like supermarkets and restaurants that serve organic food need to order only what they can sell in a fairly short period of time. This time frame is called shelf life and with organic food it is fairly short. International shipping companies only deliver small portions of organic food on any given run because the likelihood of it being destroyed in transport can end up costing them money.

The upside of organic food is that it is universally considered to be healthier for you. In the United States, many farmers are turning to organic growing methods because of the increase in health hazards associated with the use of pesticides. International shipping of these American food products is done regularly to Canada and Mexico, but rarely overseas to Europe or Asia. Asian countries have their own organic growing secrets and import of non-processed food is not as common.

International shipping companies are responsible for the transfer and trade of goods and services across the world and make billions of dollars doing it. Some of those international shipping cargoes are simple to transport and some are much more difficult. Organic foods are definitely in the latter category and the consumer pays the price for it. If you really want fresh fruits and vegetables and don't want to pay the price for them you could do some research and grow your own.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of
International Shipping services,
Shipping Local as
well as International Moving.
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