The US will receive its first shipment of Australian mangoes tomorrow, with 700 trays leaving Australia’s shores on February.
Two growers have sent the first consignment of mangoes just as the Australian season is wrapping up, to be received by two US importers.
“We see a lost of potential in the US. It’s the biggest ans one of the most affluent markets, and we’ll be operating at the top end. Australia is an expensive country to produce in, and it’s expensive to fly produce to the US, but we think the US will be a significant market for exports,” Robert Gray, CEO of the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) told Fruitnet.
Gray said that this season’s shipments mark the beginning of a three-year export programme, with the small volume being used to garner market feedback and ensure the processes surrounding protocol are in line.
“Next season, we’ll have a more extensive market evaluation, starting shipments with the Northern Territory mangoes in October and shipping right up until this time of the year,” Gray said. “By then, we should have a better understanding of the prices and how US consumers react to Australian mangoes.”
The third step is ramping up export volumes, as well as pursuing marketing campaigns in the US.
“The only way to ensure success is if we build on our point of difference," Gray said. "There are plenty of cheaper mangoes coming in to the US from South America, but Australian mangoes have a unique flavour and great quality that we think will be popular with US consumers.”
Australia’s minister of agriculture Barnaby Joyce announced the opening of the US market to Australian mangoes and lychees on 15 January.