British MP Keith Vaz confirmed a European Union (EU) audit team will visit fruit treatment facilities in India this September, including an inspection of pest containment measures for Alphonso mangoes.
Vaz met with EU agricultural commissioner Dacian Ciolos in Brussels to discuss potential plans for revoking the EU ban on mango imports from India, reports the Times of India.
EU officials told the Times that a decision to revoke or uphold the ban would depend on the outcome of their visit. If the ban is uplifted, it will be towards the end of 2014, after the Indian mango season has rapped up.
“Indian mango growers are suffering daily and some have been bankrupted as a result of this unfair and illogical ban. British businesses have lost millions,” Vaz told the Times of India. “What is essential is that the visit of the delegation is a success and that when they come they are fully satisfied that all issues are addressed. To keep this ban going to December 2015 would cause irreparable damage to the EU-India relationship.”
Keith also wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron, requesting the government sends senior officials to India to assist the delegation.
The EU ban on Indian mangoes, as well two types of gourd and eggplant, came in to effect on 1 May citing unsatisfactory phytosanitary conditions and, unless overruled, is expected to last until December 2015.