Australian mango demand soars in USA

Australian mango growers are seeing the fruits of their labour in the US this season, with the first major shipments resulting in overwhelmingly positive feedback from both importers and consumers.

Favco Business Manager for Mangoes and Tropicals John Nardi says most major mango varieties have now been shipped to the US, and demand is strong across the board.

“The importers in the U.S. are very keen to develop the market there with all of the main Australian varieties and the feedback so far from retailers is that they have been flying off the shelf,” he says.

“I am sure there is huge growth potential as US consumers seem to have a similar taste or palette to Australians and therefore our varieties should do very well with them compared to the varieties they are used to.”

Favco sent it’s first shipment to the US in January 2016, and is the first Australian company to supply the US market with the iconic Kensington Pride (KP) variety.

Mr Nardi says the shipment contained a total of 800 cartons, consisting of 719 cartons of KP and 81 of R2E2.

“There have been previous shipments of other varieties but this was the first KP shipment to land. For all of us involved it was particularly about ensuring that we could achieve that and learn from the process,”
he says, adding that Favco was fortunate to have support and commitment from a grower with a “long history of producing good export quality fruit”.

“Danny Scimia and Vince Giuffre from Fresh Grocers Group were very committed to seeing this project through and working with us to see if we could successfully land Kensington Pride mangoes in the U.S.”

He says the particular challenge with exporting Kensington Pride mangoes is making sure they are free from the Mango Seed Weevil.

“Kensington Pride mangoes are particularly susceptible to this pest and it is difficult to maintain farm/block freedom from the pest. While Mango Seed Weevil does attack all varieties, it seems to have a preference for the Kensington Pride as we all do,”
he says.

“We were very happy to have passed inspection for Mango Seed Weevil which meant the shipment could go and more importantly, that it could be done with Kensington Pride.”

But the time it took to ensure they met all the required export protocols also meant that further shipments this season were off the cards.

“We had originally anticipated that we would send up to three shipments but we wanted to make sure we could pass all the protocol requirements and successfully land the first shipment before we followed up with any further loads,”
Mr Nardi says.


“By the time we landed the first shipment, it was too late in the season to follow up with any further loads as fruit could only be sourced from registered blocks and due to the growing condition in the Tablelands Region [in Queensland] this year the fruit matured and was harvested more quickly than normal.”
He says unusual growing conditions meant that harvest started later than normal, but that fruit matured quickly and had to be harvested in a shorter timeframe than normal. Quality, however, has been high and Mr Nardi says the Tablelands Region is 
“well known for producing high-quality fruit.”

“I think the Tablelands region is the ideal region for sourcing fruit for the US market. It seems other regions have higher levels of Mango Seed Weevil that may exclude them from being able to supply whereas some areas in the Tablelands seem to be less prone than others.”

He says it’s difficult to get an accurate gauge on demand from the US at this stage because the export program is still new, but that importers, retailers and consumers are keen to work on larger programs for upcoming seasons.

“They are excited by the future opportunities for all varieties but they are also aware of the iconic status of the KP mango in Australia and are very keen to see more of the KP land in the US to see if they can replicate the demand for the variety with the US mango consumers.”

He says Favco will be following up with their US importer for a programmed supply for next season,
“if we can source enough fruit from growers that are willing to go through the process of registering and meeting the Protocol requirements.”

“I think it is a great opportunity and I would encourage growers to get on board,”
he says.

For more information:

John Nardi
Tel: +61 408 334 266+61 408 334 266

Publication date: 1/27/2016
Author: Amy Bradney-George