The National Organic Program is coming!
We reported late last year that we are looking into our obligations to implement new organic protocols established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP).
Our customers and all others who sell wine labeled ORGANIC will have obligations to fulfill. The amendments protect integrity in the organic supply chain and build consumer and industry trust in the USDA organic label by strengthening organic control systems, improving farm-to-market traceability, and providing robust enforcement of the USDA organic regulations.
We are currently engaging with organic certifying agents to configure our workflows and comply with our obligations as the importer of record. We will shortly be confirming with our customers 1) What organic products you will be importing after March 2024, and 2) What obligations you vs your suppliers will need to action.
Again, we urge you to START NOW to identify those products in your book that are organic, identify products that you import in 2024 that are labeled organic, and confirm that you have in-country organic certification via an authorized entity for each label.
Please be prepared to share that information with us. We can not get our certification without reporting these products, and will we need to provide the corresponding certifications as part of our application process.
The Impact of Slow Steaming on Container Supply and ETAs
Slow steaming is here to stay. During the pandemic container lines increased shipping speeds by up to 4% due to strong demand and port congestion. In 2023, ship speeds slowed by 4% back to pre-pandemic levels with further decreases on the horizon. Starting January 1st, new EU emission standards (International Maritime Organisation) may slow down vessels even further as Liner operators seek to comply with the new regulations and reduce costs.
What does this mean for your shipments?
In the first two weeks of 2024, we have experienced a noticeable uptick in vessel delays with ships delayed between 3 – 10 days from their original ETA.
The delay in vessel ETA is further compounded by recent events in the Red Sea and the challenges experienced in the Panama Canal as vessels are re-routed to avoid these lanes. To account for these potential delays we urge customers to order earlier to ensure their inventory is available when needed. Allow for extra time, we recommend 3-4 weeks to be safe.
Rail Strike in Germany
German rail transportation has stopped due to strike action. The strike will likely start on January 10th and run for three days. Rail operators, drivers, farmers, and freight forwarders will all take part in the strike which is expected to significantly restrict transportation throughout the country and at German Ports. It is likely to cause delays at Ports and road/railways over the coming weeks.