“From Chile we have started to see the early fruit by air into Miami,” Ana Ramos, co-owner with her husband Frank, of The Perishable Specialist Inc., headquartered in Miami, said Nov. 15. The company is a leading customs broker that is completely dedicated to fruits and vegetables.
“We have also seen an excellent flow of organic blueberries into the Northeast from Argentina,” she added. “Peruvian asparagus volumes for Thanksgiving are excellent and Guatemala is exporting all year.”
Ramos added that the company anticipates an influx of blueberries from Chile by ocean container at the beginning of December and into the first week of the month.
“We look forward to good volumes and some expected increases in the coming season,” she said.
The Perishable Specialist handles fresh produce exclusively. Ramos said that a broker who specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables serves the importer best because every ounce of effort is concentrated within the produce industry.
“Our company is the epitome of a streamlined process, and we are solely dedicated to fruits and vegetables, which represent 99.9 percent of our day-to-day business,” she said. “We are more efficient because we are true perishable specialists.”
The company’s efforts are designed and arranged to work for its fruit and vegetable importers. Its attention is never focused elsewhere because produce is all it does.
“We made a decision a little over ten years ago to become effectively organized and commit our company and ourselves to serving the needs of fruits and vegetable importers,” said Ramos. “As with everything in life, relationships are paramount in importance, and the produce industry is no exception. Our staff has the ability to effectively communicate and engage the numerous government agencies that oversee the importation of fruits and vegetables into the U.S.”
She noted that Chilean fruit rarely deals with diseases or insects. This is largely attributed to their having a U.S. Department of Agriculture pre-clearance program with fruit being inspected at origin rather than destination.
“The Chileans have perfected their fruit export program and are highly regarded by many exporters in other countries as told to us by our Central and South American exporters,” said Ramos. “Not only is their program the one everyone wishes to emulate, but you will often find Chilean experts assisting other programs in other South and Central American countries, teaching those professionals about the perfect science of exporting fruits. Chile is not only a premier exporting country, but [its] produce professionals are not selfish with their systems, practices and knowledge.”
Ana and Frank Ramos attended the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit in New Orleans in October. Frank Ramos noted that the couple had not returned to the city since the last time the Fresh Summit was held there.
“We immediately remembered why New Orleans is one of our favorite PMA Fresh Summit locations,” he said. “The ambiance is always fun and the food, well, the food is always awesome.
“One of Ana’s highlights was being able to meet Susan Spicer, a local well-known chef and restaurant owner in New Orleans,” he continued. “We had just seen her on the ‘Top Chef’ television program as a guest judge a couple of days before the Fresh Summit began. Chef Spicer was candid, and she had a short conversation with Ana about her guest appearance on the show. It was a very positive experience.”
He added that the couple was very impressed with the Welcome Reception’s location.
“It was one of Frank’s highlights of the show,” interjected Ana Ramos. “The ability to see where the Mardi Gras floats call home added to the excitement of attending the PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans.”
The Perishable Specialist is a remote location filer. This enables the company to file entry at all ports in the United States.
“We have an extensive peer-to-peer network, which provides legs at all major ports of the U.S. should the need for physical representation be necessary in cases where we are not present,” Ana Ramos said.