Australia and the Phillippines have signed an amended Specific Commodity Understanding (SCU) allowing the importation of Philippines mangoes into Australia.

The Philippines’ agriculture undersecretary Segfredo Serrano and Australian ambassador Amanda Gorely signed the agreement on 27 October 2016, which formalises Australia's recognition of the Philippines’ pest free status for seed weevil and pulp weevil, except for the island of Palawan.

The amended SCU builds on an agreement signed in 2013, which granted access for mangoes from Guimaras, Samal Islands and Davao del Sur.

Robert Amores, president of the Philippine Food Processors and Export Organisation, said that while the recognition was a welcome news for the industry, there were still challenges in shipping Philippine mangoes to Australia.

“[The recognition] is a welcome move, but we still have competitiveness issues as we have to ship by air,” Amores told the BusinessMirror.

“Yes [this will boost our exports to Australia], but we cannot quantify at the moment, not until we are able to work on the promotions aspect and the actual timing, as Australia also produces a sweet, acceptable variety.'