Organic Beans Question

Jeff Stern
03/28/11 04:48:00PM
78 posts

Have passed this question around the world without an answer. As I understand, most if not all sea shipments of agricultural products such as rice, corn, and cacao must be fumigated (usally with methyl bromide) before shipping. I would like to know, under what circumstances (type of container used, or via air transport, etc.) are beans shipped and guaranteed not fumigated?-since any fumigated beans would no longer be "organic". It seems that fumigation is a very standard operating procedure performed not once, but sometimes 2x, on cocoa beans. So how do "organic" beans arrive stateside or to other cocoa processing countries?

I have also heard that some companies buy organic liquor in the country of origin, and have it shipped, since liquor does not require fumigation.

updated by @jeff-stern: 04/09/15 04:46:07PM
Nancy Nadel
03/28/11 05:00:24PM
13 posts
I have asked around about this as well. I am working on it now from the customs and ag commission side to find out what is done. Even there, I am getting the run around.
Richard Falotico
04/24/11 09:43:22AM
3 posts

Jeff and Nancy,

A couple points:

Generally, if your paperwork is done correctly stating organic status, most origins will not be fumigated. That being said, these are the biggest exceptions:

Indonesia as an origin is automatically fumigated upon arrival to the US

Venezuela has mandatory fumigating before export but not upon US arrival

As Jeff notes, semi-finished products are not subject to fumigation.

Hope this helps!

Jeff Stern
04/24/11 10:10:04AM
78 posts

Thanks! You're the first person to provide any kind of answer to this question.

Ice Blocks!
04/25/11 09:18:54PM
81 posts
I believe it depends on the origins AND what exactly is being shipped. For examples beans from Africa need some kind of pest treatment for importation into Australia. However there ARE organic pest control procedures for example freezing to -18 degrees centigrade for 7 days.
Duffy Sheardown
04/26/11 12:35:08PM
55 posts

Check out a pos last year from Jim Lucas who discussed what controls his beans have to go through to get from Brazil to the USA - and about the precautions you have to take when using the very nasty chemicals involved.

Jeff Stern
04/26/11 12:49:11PM
78 posts
That freezing process doesn't sound very feasible for a container!


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