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AUSTRALIA : NT Mango season starts strong for Manbulloo

The Northern Territory mango season has begun this week for Manbulloo, and the harvest began on September 20 at its Northern Territory property, based outside Katherine:

“We’re taking crop off the first flower, which started on May 15 and it’s looking good with premium packouts at about 85%,”  said Marie Piccone, Managing Director with Manbulloo. 

“They haven’t got any quality concerns but the Kensington Pride crop might end up being down about 20% because there wasn’t conducive conditions for flowering during autumn and winter in terms of temperature.”

The split season, where there were multiple flowerings means that Manbulloo expects to be picking fruit until the end of November, around the 20th, and there were ‘definitely three distinct flowerings’ this season, according to Ms Piccone:

“Some parts of trees haven’t flowered at all this season too, because the terminals are too young. They haven’t built up enough carbohydrates,” she said.

 “It was alternating between cool and warm during Autumn and Winter. They’re responding to the environment accordingly we’re just not always able to change that response. ”

Domestically sales and consumption are always lower when the weather is cool this early in the season, Ms Piccone said, but the volume being produced is being ‘swallowed up’ by retailers. 

“We work closely with Coles and we’re working to send trucks to where sales and demand are highest.” 

Some crops in the NT have also been affected by a disease called Resin canal which is a physiological disorder (collapsed resin canals under the mango skin). Fruit affected has to be sold cheaply on the wholesale market, she added.

“Resin Canal has been a problem with a percentage of Darwin fruit, particularly the KPs because that’s what’s mostly produced there.”

Export potential booming, markets reopened
Export demand won’t build momentum until mid November or December, Ms Piccone said, but Manbulloo has a strong program with Mainland China, Korea, Canada, the US and the UK.

“We’re in those markets because we believe they’re sustainable and profitable,” she added.

 “To do exports there has to be a good return for the grower. ”

The low Australian dollar has meant the UK demanded Manbulloo fruit again after a couple of years of rest from that market, and China, Korea and Japan will become more viable following the FTA agreement, Ms Piccone said.

 “We’ve been supplying directly to China for seven or eight years already, but the FTA will make it easier because often the Chinese importers worry about price. The Fta will reduce the tariff costs.”

2015 has already been a good year for mango grower and exporter Manbulloo, and to cap it off two weeks ago the company won the In Store Execution Award for National Supplier of the Year for Coles.

“Another grower Sevenfields was a finalist in supply chain management too,” said Ms. Piccone. 

“It shows that mangoes can make a big difference and that the in store initiatives we’ve run with Coles have had an impact.”

Manbulloo is also expanding, and the company is expecting to plant another 20,000 new trees during the next 12-24 months, a mixture of KP, R2E2 and some other 'promising varieties' according to Ms Piccone.

For more information

Marie Piccone, Managing Director
Manbulloo Ltd

Publication date: 9/24/2015
Author: Kalianna Dean

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