I’m excited to announce that this week Sustainable Harvest® became a certified partner in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an honor that will allow us to provide our roaster customers with even better service. As Sustainable Harvest®’s Manager of Coffee Operations, I’ve overseen the long process (about a year and a half) of working toward this certification, and I’m happy to provide some information about what it is and why it matters.
What is C-TPAT?
As importers, we are responsible for whatever goods are stuffed into the containers we bring from origin into the United States. Occasionally CBP will flag one of our containers for inspection, where they’ll open it or put it through an X-ray exam to closely inspect its contents. These inspections are costly not just for us as the importer, but for the shipping lines and ports as well, and they also delay the delivery of containers. By obtaining C-TPAT certification, Sustainable Harvest® is ensuring CBP that the cargo we bring into the United States has no illegal or misrepresented materials.
How did we earn the certification?
We wouldn’t have been able to become a certified partner in C-TPAT without the work of our four origin offices and the close connections they have to our coffee-producing organizations. We worked with CBP to show the processes we use to verify our suppliers and the methods they use to stuff their containers; the paperwork and tracking systems we use to follow their activity; and the security methods used to protect our containers. Having origin staff who work directly with our producer partners and exporters made it possible for us to provide the necessary information to vouch for the contents of our containers.
What is the result?
In return for helping CBP secure their borders, Sustainable Harvest® will have fewer containers pulled for inspection, which will result in timelier delivery of our containers. In addition, this certification from CBP provides an extra layer of transparency and traceability to our shipments, and all Sustainable Harvest® customers can share in this benefit.
If you have any questions about C-TPAT or want to know more about how it affects our shipments, please feel free to email me!