A new era dawns for the USDA / AMS National mango Board as the original Executive Director prepares to step down.
IMO sources within the National Mango Board (NMB) have reported that William Watson will be reliquishing his duties in the very near future.
Watson has made a carreer in the Promotion Board arena having been hired to head up the Mango Board after a stint at the Watermelon Board previously.
Watson has been involved in major life threatening food safety investigations with each Promotion Board.
The most recent was last the 2012 Daniella Samonella scare, that despite claiming to have learned from the similar incident at the Watermelon Board, proved that very little was learned as the National Mango Board failed to respond to the crisis for more than two weeks.
Ultimately, the National Mango Board (NMB) washed it's hands of the failed response by later claiming that the job description was not in the bylaws of the USDA / AMS organization.
After years of dismal returns to mango exporters, the tide is finally turning as the growers have responded to planting yellow skin cultivars which was in line with the flavor that consumers expected of mangoes.
The demographic explosion of mango oriented consumers is what has kept the mango industry alive over the years.
During Watson's watch, the mango board has increased it's bureacracy will providing negligible return to Grower/Shippers.
More that 60 million dollars has been squandered by the NMB since it's inception in 2005.
Watson benifited from sweetheart deals and consultancy fees prior to the NMB start.
Perhaps the biggest failure of the National Mango Board under Watson's watch has been the unwillingness to find a solution or alternative to the Hot Water Dip process which destroy enzymes and denies consumers access to a flavorful mango.
In addition, the NMB chose to ignore the facts and proceed to infer that Hot water Treated mangoes possessed the same nutritional value as natural mangoes.
It is a miracle that the National mango Board was never sued in a class action for deceptive advertising and fraud unedr Watson's tenure.
An alternative to what was originally a stop gap measure was resisted even after the International Mango Organization (IMO) offered solutions such as Irradiation which predated the NMB by 5 years.
After years of resisting the existenece and solutions offered by the IMO, The NMB finally recognized that Irradiation held promise.
Reports commisioned by the NMB and carried out by UC Davis established that consumer perceptions about Irradiation could be overcome.
Another failure of the NMB was the ability to develop a relationship with retailers which was manifested by the ultimate elimination of the board seats originally established to represent retail sector and their point of view.
The National Mango Board was never able to include the retailers input which is a primary function on a Promotion Board.
In the eyes of the IMO, The NMB was never properly funded for the mission with which it was charged and Watson did very little more than hire former employees and create a culture of ineptitude not worthy of a National Campaign to promote the consumption of Fresh mangoes.
Hopefully, The Board of directors at the national Mango Board will raise the bar with the next selection.