Importation of Raw Product to Manufacturers in the United States
Pickling Cucumber Improvement Committee Meeting Abstract
Louis J. Rosenmayer
M. J. Rosenmayer Company
Importation of various products from other countries is significant, due to products now available to processors in the United States from many areas throughout the world. We cannot consider ourselves agricultural isolationists any longer, as we are now fused to sourcing from other countries. Product is now being imported from Spain, Greece, Israel, Holland, Central America, South America, India, Canada, and Mexico. We are now able to take advantage of, and participate in, universal sourcing. This is not a simple task, and attempting to integrate manufacturer’s specification requirements from Third World and other countries is difficult. It is necessary to prepare sourcing adequately from “idea to finish.” This has been an objective of our company for many years when arranging deals abroad.
Preparing product anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 miles away, and introducing technologies to ensure that the product arrives at its final destination as though it were harvested a few miles from the manufacturing point, is a challenge. This is an important objective and achieving success requires that we conquer many obstacles, including transportation, proper packaging, ratio of brine to product, freshness, refrigeration, proper icing, hydro-cooling, and other major procedures that have now progressed from an art to a science. In addition, we must completely understand the many variables and innuendoes involved in the administrative requirements necessary for processing products from other countries into the United States. This includes the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Transportation, the INS, contraband inspections, allowable chemicals, pesticides, etc. These are all major obstacles.
Other major impediments are the various ports of entry into and out of the United States, as well as out of the source country. Operational hours, coordination of voluminous paperwork and bureaucracy are an additional sequence of events when dealing with other countries to bring product into the United States. To include financing, Letters of Credit and Sight Drafts add additional and significant costs to each shipment. Financial commitment is not only a strategic variable in all these deals, but also necessary to ensure its success. This is in addition to challenges such as communication, currency evaluations, and other tendencies. The investment in dollars and time is monumental.
Obviously NAFTA and the Maquiladora programs have opened up new resources and assisted in decreasing the intense bureaucracy. However, full integration into these programs will take time and effort. There are still many sequences that must be followed to ensure that a product gets from point A to point B effectively.
In order to thoroughly source the world with the objective of finding suppliers that meet our needs and those of the manufacturers we supply requires a minimum of five years. It also necessitates time to persuade growers, shippers and suppliers of a new concept of economics; one that will guarantee them a rate of return on their investment, if they are willing and able to follow the needed procedures and requirements for U.S. consumption.
In some countries there is tremendous expertise, and many operations are modernized and operate in excess of U.S. standards. For example, in Mexico you can receive product in an almost greenhouse environment, better than anywhere in the world. From updated equipment to pre- and post-harvest techniques that include plastic, trellises, computerized drip-irrigation, and any modernized equipment that helps produce a hand-harvest product. This includes insecticides and the proper chemicals to negate major infestations. In addition, you are working with countries and suppliers that desire to increase their productivity and are open to receiving outside expertise.
Proper equipment and procedures are necessary to process the product correctly. However, to achieve these results requires effort from sources that are willing to accept new ideas and invest in time and equipment. It must be realized that in order for there to be progress the importer must expect to finance these deals. It is necessary for us to extend ourselves in every way possible in order for their growth to reach fruition. Each day is an adventure, and, when handled diplomatically, one can introduce effective suppliers to the marketplace.
These factors are not indigenous to countries abroad. In areas throughout the United States there exist different peculiarities. You must deal with these variables and produce an item that is consistently acceptable to manufacturers. In some instances this may be more difficult than working with other countries. Organization is paramount.
With the decrease of hand-harvest labor in the United States and the direct demand for hand-harvest product, we have increased the need for mechanical harvesting. Unfortunately, there is a quality equation that must be effectively integrated to ensure that companies requiring a hand-harvest product, or quality equal to such, can be satisfied with machine-harvest goods.
This factor must become a reality that is readily available in the marketplace, or other countries abroad will decrease their costs and make available the exact product that manufactures desire. If we are unable to produce a machine-harvested product that is acceptable, we will face serious consequences in the future.
We feel the above allows you to briefly understand the intricacies needed to produce and ship products from sources outside the United States.
If done properly I am sure we can take advantage of resources throughout the world for importation into the United States.
For further information, contact:
- Mr. Louis J. Rosenmayer
- M. J. Rosenmayer Company
- 449 South Beverly Drive, Suite 213, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
- Telephone: 310-551-1357; Fax: 310-203-0187
- E-mail: MJRPickles@aol.com