August 12th, 2014
The Peruvian mango industry is hoping to take full advantage of a growing U.S consumption for the fruit by implementing a quality seal that will set it aside from others.
Peruvian Mango Exporters’ Association (APEM) general manager Juan Carlos Rivera told www.freshfruitportal.com the seal’s design and requisites were being finalized and he was now seeing which companies would like to start trials.
“What we are looking for now is a consensus amongst the possible users of the seal and to see what companies would like to undergo a pilot scheme,” Rivera said.
“There is a group of companies who are on board, and so we’re holding meetings with them and we’re expecting them to test the seal.”
Rivera added he was focusing more on packers rather than growers.
“It’s impossible for all producers to use it as there are thousands here in Peru. However, we have better control and better access to the packing plants,” he said.
Rivera said growers and packers wanting to use the quality seal each had to have specific food safety or agricultural certifications.
Growers must be certified by the non-profit organization called GlobalG.A.P., which recognizes good agricultural practices.
The other one is called HACCP, or Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, and applies only to packers.
“GlobalG.A.P. for the farms and HACCP for packing plants are two requirements that are absolutely essential,” Rivera said.
The fruit must also have a brix grade that falls within a certain range and must comply with certain aesthetic conditions.
“With this we feel that our clients will be confident that they are receiving a fruit that meets good quality requirements,” Rivera added.
The APEM representative went on to say the U.S.-based National Mango Board (NMB) had informed him that mango consumption in the United States was on the up, and so the quality seal was a good way to position the Peruvian industry to reap the full benefits of the trend.
Rivera said he hoped companies would start a pilot scheme for the seal this coming season, which runs from November through March.
He added that rather that it having an immediate impact, he considered the seal to be more of a long-term strategy to boost international trade.
“The quality seal is a question of time. The client has to verify that the seal constitutes a guarantee, and if they agree then we would hope that more companies would want to use it,” Rivera said.
“We hope that the first clients appreciate it and like being able to differentiate a mango shipment that has this quality seal and one that doesn’t.”