Ecuador will begin its first airfreight of fresh mangoes to China this month since gaining access earlier this year.
President of the Mango Ecuador Foundation, Sergio Cedeño, said the first airfreight shipments would begin this week, with seafreight shipments to be trialled in coming weeks.
In an interview with Ecuadorian news site Expreso, Cedeño said shipping by sea to China would take 35 days, but the sensitivity of mangoes mean the fruit could withstand a maximum of 20 days before the fruit suffers in terms of softness.
Cedeño said airfreight would cost US$4 per kg, compared to 80 cents per 4kg-box by sea. The first pallet of 10,000 boxes of mangoes will be sent by plane while controlled atmosphere seafreight is trialled for mango shipments.
Despite the long distance, Cedeño said Ecuador’s counterseasonal production, from October to January, gave it an advantage in Asia when there’s a gap in production from the major mango producing countries, such as China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Cedeño also sees opportunities in value-added mangoes, with a significant increase in mango consumption globally, including in fresh-cut, frozen and dehydrated mango pieces.