The Philippines may be a step closer to getting its mangoes to Australia after Canberra asked Manila to accept its citrus.
Biosecurity Australia has agreed to inspect two mango-producing regions in the Philippines before September, in response to Manila's willingness to consider admitting trial shipments of Australian citrus.
Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry director Lito Baron told the Manila Standard yesterday (13 June) that the potential breakthrough occurred after Australia asked the Philippines to accept consignments of Australian grapefruits and oranges.
He said Manila told Canberra it would consider its request if Australia reconsidered opening its doors to Philippine mangoes, which Australia's agriculture lobby has opposed for a decade.
In response, Biosecurity Australia promised a team would visit Philippine mango orchards in Davao del Sur and Samal Island before the season ends.
"We are banking on the principle of reciprocity," Mr Baron told the paper. "If we allow the entry of Australian fruits, they might also allow the entry of Philippine mangoes."
Australian growers oppose the entry of Philippine mangoes over pest concerns. But Mr Baron told the Manila Standard that the pest issues had been addressed since Manila adopted a treatment protocol approved by Biosecurity Australia.
"We can even do fumigation using their fumigation standard protocol," he said.
Meanwhile, Philippine banana growers are lobbying the World Trade Organization to compel Australia to allow in Philippine bananas, a move Australian growers have blocked since 1995.