Economic Promise for US Organic Farmers Stolen by Illegal Imports


Turmeric – native to India and Southeast Asia – is a root crop (considered a spice) that has been little known for decades to the Western world except as a flavoring or coloring for Asian cuisine, as a dye for fibers and fabrics, or in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine.
Today, turmeric is used in industrial applications, health and personal care products, and as a raw food product, dried spice, or ground for tea. Turmeric oleoresin, an extract of turmeric, is often used for flavoring and coloring. Curcuminoids and turmeric essential oil are both contained in turmeric oleoresin.1

Turmeric Spices Market

In the US, turmeric is a high-value specialty product grown on relatively few acres. US turmeric is indeed a high value crop, producing as much as $60,000 to $80,000 in revenue per acre for growers in Hawaii and Florida. 

Consumer and industrial demand, scale of production, and high wholesale prices have driven the growth of imported turmeric, both fresh and processed. This red, yellow, white, green, or even black root has become the darling of the health food industry and is in great demand for its hypoglycemic2, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.3

The global market for turmeric is projected grow at a 5.5% CAGR [compound annual growth rate] from 2023 through 2033: from US$4.4 billion in 2023 to US$7.6 billion by 2033. A total 10-year growth of 72.7%.4 In 2012, global sales of turmeric were US$2.7 billion.5

The US is the largest importer of turmeric in the world, importing 9,881 metric tons of turmeric in 2019, approximately 21.8 million pounds including raw and processed turmeric.6 In 2015, approximately 14 million pounds of turmeric were imported into the US.7 Most US imports are from India (74%) and Fiji (11%).8 The turmeric coming into the US from India is primarily ground, oleoresin, and powder with primarily fresh roots coming in from other countries such as Fiji.9 

Turmeric at Retail

At one time considered a pricey specialty item, turmeric has taken over produce shelves across the country, from small co-ops, like Viroqua Food Co-op in Viroqua, WI (population 4,500) and natural chains, like Natural Grocers in remote Helena, MT (population 33,500), to high end markets in cities like New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. 

Consumers are faced with choosing between turmeric prices of $8/pound from Fiji or $25/pound for roots grown by domestic farmers from Hawaii.

US producers in Hawaii and Florida are feeling the impacts. They include:

Family Farm Inc. 

Certified by: Where Food Comes from Organic – formerly A Bee Organic, Operation ID: 9092109701

  • Address: 32-832 Old Mamalahoa Hwy, Ninole, HI, 96773
  • Scope: Crops
  • Acres certified: 2,016; 0.125 acres of turmeric
  • No Website
  • Founded 2014 
  • Sales: 95% direct to retail in Michigan, 5% direct to retail in Hawaii
  • Potential new retailers have pushed on price.
  • Existing retail customers said to value the quality and freshness that differentiate Family Farm Inc. from imports.


Palm Valley Farm 

Certified by: Where Food Comes from Organic – formerly A Bee Organic, Operation ID: 9092129304

  • Address: 28-3812 Kanna Road, Hakalau, HI, 96710
  • Scope: Crops
  • Acres certified: 8.20, 2 acres of turmeric
  • DBA Turmeric Kings (
  • Website:
  • Founded in 2021
  • 0.25 acres in 2021, moved to full acre, then 4 acres, now back to 2 acres. 
  • Had been working with an island buyer who was taking 2 pallets a week; the buyer canceled the relationship saying he was buying for half the cost for imports from Fiji and Costa Rica.
  • Lost $40,000 the first year, left with wasted fertilizer in storage and fallow fields.
  • Second year tried to build business back selling to local retailers via direct store delivery.


Ginger Ridge Farms 

Certified by: Organic Certifiers, Inc., Operation ID: 6220003259

  • Address: P.O. Box 1147, Kurtistown, HI, 96760
  • Scope: Crops
  • Acres certified: 10
  • Website:
    • Founded in 1980 
    • 10 acres certified for organic production.
    • For decades, the main crops were ginger and turmeric.
    • No longer grows either.
    • Their root crop market is gone; lost ginger market to imports from Peru, now lost turmeric market to imports from Fiji. 
    • A local market garden managed by 2 people.


Healing Grove 

Certified by: CCOF Certification Services, LLC, Operation ID: 5561004906

  • Address: 54-449, 54-519 Kapaau Road, Kapaau, HI, 96755
  • Scope: Crops, Handling
  • Acres certified: 7, less than 1 acre planted to turmeric.
  • Website:
    • Founded 2017
    • Small non-profit farm, strictly hand labor
    • The story of Healing Grove: “We are a Franciscan religious order, joining in community to love God and to be stewards of His holy Creation. Organic farming is an expression of the Franciscan way and in harmony with the Hawaiian values of malama honua, which reverences the land and the soil as being sacred. We are a non-profit, charitable organization which devotes all of our revenues to feeding the poor and to sustaining this agricultural ministry. As such we operate with all-volunteer staff.”
    • Sells via direct store delivery to food co-ops both in Hawaii and on mainland.
    • They have been able to slowly convert the food co-ops they once supplied and who had switched to imported turmeric, back to Hawaiian turmeric.
    • Hawaiian turmeric is fresher, higher quality, more visually appealing, and preferred by consumers. 


White Rabbit Acres 

Certified by: Americert International, Operation ID 6241001161

  • Address: 5323 234th St., Newberry, FL, 32669
  • Scope: Crops
  • Acres certified: 40, turmeric on 3 acres
  • Website:
    • Established: 1999, added organic turmeric in 2015
    • Growing, sorting, and packing processes all in-house
    • 30,000 pounds of certified organic turmeric root produced annually
    • Had been selling through a large distributor in LA but this year the distributor is only buying imported turmeric. 
    • Have switched to selling direct – both direct store delivery to retail, delivered to manufacturers and processors, and sold to consumers online.


Producers in Fiji include:

Saurabh Patel Export & Import 

Certified by: EcoCert, Operation ID 7880223995

  • Address: 17 RAM AUTAR LANE, Waimalika Rd, Nadi, Fiji
  • Scope: Crops, Handling (lacking certification scope for Wild Crops)10
  • Acres certified: 1,112
  • Website:
    • Established: 2016
    • Exports 145 tonnes (319,000 pounds) per month fresh Organic turmeric to the US wholesale market (annual total: ~3.83 million pounds).
    • Saurabh company works with up to 437 local farmers from multiple villages.
    • Local farmers operate across 600 acres of mountainous terrain.
    • Two warehouses for grading and packing, and each facility employs about 20 people.

Ashwin Export and Import 

Certified by EcoCert, Operation ID 7880215650

Island Magic (Fiji) Pte. Limited

Certified by: Control Union Certifications, Operation ID 1780867269

  • Address: Matovo, Valley Road, Sigatoka, Fiji
  • Scope: Wild Crops, Handling (Claim farmland has been USDA organically certified, no certification listing for Crops scope.)12 
  • Acres certified: 3,923
  • Website:
    • Collected wild from over 25,000 acres of land in a native village community partnership as well as being cultivated on an 85-hectare farm with full organic certification.
    • A “grower network” to develop numerous wild-grown and organic products that are native to the region for both export and domestic markets.
    • Over 28 years (established approximately 1996) creating a sustainable farming community involving over 500 households.
    • Feature article: Why people are falling in love with Fijian organic turmeric13
    • NOTE: “Prepared on the banks and washed in the rivers of the Sigatoka region, the wild Turmeric is then prepared for shipment in our dedicated pack house prior to export or delivery locally.”
    • Supplying North American market’s largest health juice suppliers.

Blakeview (Fiji) Limited 

Certified by: ACO Certification, Operation ID 39500010230 

  • Address: 24 EDINBURGH DRIVE, Suva, Fiji
  • Scope: Crops, Handling – Handling certified for dried turmeric only
  • Acres certified: Unknown
  • Website:
    • Five communities in Macuata and Ra 
    • Sold under the brand: Fiji Joe Turmeric.14

Terra WholeFoods Pte Ltd 

Certified by: EcoCert, Operation ID 7880254516

  • Address: Suite 1, Level 1, 11 Namaka Lane, Nadi, Fiji
  • Scope: Crops, Handling
  • Acres certified: 2,471

Control Union Certifications, Operation ID 1780893352

  • Address: Unit 5 & 6 Lot 5 Enamanu Road, Navakai, Nadi, Fiji
  • Scope: Wild Crops, Handling (NOTE: There is confusion about which certification they are operating under; they talk about farmers and farming but are certified for wild crops only under this Operation ID.)15
  • Acres certified: 25,441
  • Website:
  • Established: 2020
  • “The Fijian lands are perfect as they are without the need for commercial farming. We can produce turmeric without man-made energy, through sustainable farming. The untouched and undeveloped territories allow us to keep our produce pure and natural.”
  • See also company description on LinkedIn:

Ranadi Plantation Partnership

Certified by: Control Union Certifications, Operation ID 1780858890

  • Address: Queens Rd, PO Box 100, Deuba, Fiji
  • Scope: Crops, Handling 
  • Acres certified: 153
  • Website:
    • Revenue: $5.9M16
    • Ranadi Organics (as their retail brand is known) was established in 1960.
    • An award-winning, female-led farm; 75% of Ranadi’s employees are female.
    • Ranadi Organics became fully ACO, USDA NOP, and IFOAM certified, as well as JAS certified (in 2016).

Produce Processing Pte Limited 01/14/2022

Certified by: Ecocert SAS, formerly Ecocert SA, Operation ID 7880231568

  • Address: Lot 2, Bulei Road, Laucala Beach Estate, Suva, Fiji
  • Scope: Crops, Handling (NOTE: Not certified for Wild Crops, although Ecocert describes them as “Wild picker, Manufacturer/Processor, Specialist wholesaler.”17)
  • Acres certified: 1,458
  • No website



2 ibid.