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World Variety Produce imports Australian mangoes for first time

World Variety Produce, Los Angeles, which markets under the Melissa’s brand, is importing mangoes from Australia for the first time this year. Clearance was granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in September 2013, and the first Australian mangoes entered the U.S. the week of Feb. 9, according to the Australian Mango Industry Association.

The Australian mango season extends from September through March, with larger volumes available between October and February.

“In the past season we undertook two trial shipments, and we were very pleased with the response from our importers and retailers. In the 2015-16 season, we plan to build our export momentum to develop a presence in the U.S.,”
said Treena Welch, marketing manager for the Australian Mango Industry Association.

As shipments ramp up, Welch said the focus will be on quality, not quantity. “It is critical that we put the resources behind our exports, so we build the market and ensure we focus on quality and keeping importers, U.S. retailers and, critically, the U.S. consumer happy,” she said.

Importing from Australia gives importers the chance to add variety to their mango offerings.

“There are currently about seven or eight different varieties that are now admissible,” said Robert Schueller, public relations director. 

So far, the company has only shipped keitt mangoes from Australia but expects to begin shipments of Calypso and Honey Gold mangoes, among others, starting this fall when they come into season again.

 Schueller said the additional varieties are especially exciting.

“It’s always great to see the No. 1 fruit in the world becoming more accessible and more competitive with other imports during those time periods. We’re just now starting to find out what the rest of the world has known all along,” 
he said.

Some of the unique varieties include kensington pride, Calypso, Honey Gold and R2E2, as well as already-known varieties such as keitt.

 “In Australia, the Kensington pride variety has been grown for many years and still accounts for approximately 60% of production. Calypso, Honey Gold and R2E2 varieties account for 30% of the national crop,” Welch said.

These new varieties are rounder with a yellow-orange skin and a pretty pink blush and a yellow-orange flesh, Welch said. Rachel Munoz, marketing director for the National Mango Board, Orlando, Fla., said these new options are a benefit and a challenge.

“Australia offers us different varieties that aren’t available everywhere. We’re still gathering information about that market and how to help them promote those new varieties here to U.S. consumers,” 
Munoz said.

Personally, she said she has tried the Calypso variety and was impressed.


Publication date: 4/28/2015

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