QLD Country Hour By Eliza Rogers
Posted about 2 hours ago
As the fruit starts to bud in north Queensland mango orchards, some farmers are setting their sights on new markets to avoid the perennial issue of oversupply.
Flowering had been good following a cold snap in May, and farmers were hoping to match the strong prices of last year's crop of 1.5 million trays from Bowen and the Burdekin.
00:00 AUDIO: Mango farmer sets up new export market to avoid local glut (ABC Rural)
But a lot could change between now and harvest, and Jeff Bowditch from Euri Gold Farms near Bowen has been tapping into a new market to avoid the common fruit glut.
"We're just trying to get accredited for (the USA) now... the local market tends to get flooded very easily and we're trying to grow a high quality product here, and that's what those markets require," he said.
And the Australian Mango Industry Association stated that maintaining that high quality was vital to building exports to the US, which received its first shipments from Australia earlier this year.
The first consignments were produced by two Queensland growers, and many more growers have expressed interest this season.
The fruit undergoes a final treatment stage through an irradiation facility in Brisbane before being air freighted to Los Angeles.
Euri Gold Farms is scheduled to complete its audit this week ahead of becoming accredited to enter the US market.
The farm produces about 200,000 trays of mangoes each season, of which about 40 per cent is exported to countries including China and Korea.
NQ mango farms trial Indonesian fruit fly research
Successful fruit fly research in Indonesia has been transferred to mango farms in Bowen and the Atherton Tableland.
Farms have been trialling natural bait and lure programs to reduce fruit fly, based on work in Indonesia that slashed fly populations to eradication levels.
00:00 AUDIO: Mango farmer Dale Williams, discusses fruit fly project(ABC Rural)
Bowen grower, Dale Williams, manager and owner of Euri Gold Farms, has been involved, and although he and local growers already using natural controls, they still have to use chemicals, and phasing that out is hoped to open new markets.
He said it would make the export process less complicated by reducing the barriers and risks of Maximum Reside Limits accepted by importing countries.
"It potentially opens up and frees up our market access but that is yet to be determined because those things have to made in partnership with your export market as to what protocols they'll accept."
The research has been funded by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.