SIIM West Africa mangoes on tree

Société Internationale d'Importacion (SIIM) has revealed that the first volumes of its 2020 West African mango crop are set to arrive in Europe in weeks 17 and 18.

The company, a producer, importer, ripener and distributor of tropical fruit and vegetables with operations in Africa and Latin America, packs mangoes under the Dibra brand at its plants in Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal.

According to SIIM, weather conditions experienced during the flowering period, particularly the shortage of rainfall in February and the windy weather which led to the falling of fruit from trees, will result in a slighter lower production volume compared to the previous campaign.

The eating quality, on the other hand, looks set to be 'exceptional', SIIM said, with high sugar levels, while all of the mango – and coconut – production in West Africa is GlobalGAP and Rainforest Alliance certified, and BSCI approved.

'Given the coronavirus situation which has spread through the entire world, strict health measures have been taken by all the countries in Western Africa (Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal), to protect not only their populations but also to avoid the spreading of the virus,' the company outlined. 'Schools and universities have been closed; travel is severely restricted, and curfews have been put in place.

'The business continuity plan, developed specifically to manage this crisis within the OmerDecugis Group, has been enacted in all its establishments and notably in all its packing stations in Africa in order to prioritise the workers’ health, but also to ensure the continuity of activity and the running of the 2020 mango export campaign.'

SIIM said that the 2020 campaign was officially launched on 2 April with the first harvests of Kent mangoes, the first containers of which will arrive in Europe in weeks 17 and 18.

During the entire campaign, which will last until mid-August, West Africa will be the primary supplier of mangoes to Europe.

In addition, SIIM will for the first time wax part of its production in order to optimise the conservation of the fruit during transport.

SIIM is a subsidiary of the Omer-Decugis and Fils Group, with its specific expertise in fruit ripening (pineapples, mangoes, papayas and avocados) allowing the company to offer a range of pineapples and exotic fruits with guaranteed ripeness from its ripening platform at Rungis.