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Oscar van Reisen, Fairtrasa:

"Market eager to receive West African organic mangoes after challenging Peruvian season"

After a challenging Peruvian mango season, the arrival of West African mangoes this year was highly anticipated. "This year's Peru season was extremely difficult. Like other market players, we received an extremely low volume from our own growers, so the market was quite 'eager' to receive mangoes," explains sourcing manager Oscar van Reisen of Fairtrasa.

"The volumes from Peru were indeed extremely low. We had planned for over 60 containers, but barely received ten," continues Oscar. "This created a challenging situation, including for the customers. Market prices soared so high that several retailers removed mangoes from their shelves as a reference or replaced them with other products. So, at the start of the season, everything had to be set up anew."

"More mangoes are coming from Africa than last year, which quickly resulted in less favorable prices. The season from Ivory Coast has already ended, we are selling the last volumes from Mali, and the season from Burkina Faso is entering its final phase. In Africa, you always have to deal with political influences. For example, in Burkina, an auditor couldn't enter the country for a long time due to unrest. These are all factors you have to contend with," tells Oscar.

Soon, Fairtrasa will switch to the Senegalese mango season. "We expect the first organic mangoes from Senegal around mid-June, and this season will last a bit longer this year, possibly until September-October, with the peak of the volumes in August/September," says Oscar. "We also expect good volumes from Senegal, although the presence of pests like the fruit fly always poses a threat, as we saw last year when the government suddenly imposed an export ban."

"In early June, the mango supply will still be limited, but thereafter, the volume will quickly increase. However, we continue to see that the supply of organic mangoes, for various reasons, fluctuates significantly," the sourcing manager continues. A year-round supply is desirable according to him. "Our customers prefer to carry the products all year round. At the same time, this also poses significant challenges, as we saw in Peru when expectations among growers were sky-high. For them, this is understandable, as they have also had enough challenging sales seasons, but there is a price ceiling that consumers are willing to pay for an organic mango."

"In Peru, we clearly see the effects of climate change. Partly, this can be explained by El NiƱo, but there are more climatic phenomena that result in a lower supply. Opinions in Peru vary on the duration of this weather phenomenon. In any case, it has been somewhat colder in recent weeks, and we do see more flowering in the trees for the coming season. It's too early to say if we will have a positive season, but it looks a lot more promising than last year. Additionally, the sizing will vary depending on the nutrition and region. It is clear that we need to develop cultivation in other countries to meet demand."

For Fairtrasa, mangoes are among the top-5 products in the assortment. The company supplies retailers, wholesalers, and food service companies in Germany, Switzerland, and other Northwest European countries. "All in all, we have a pretty good spread in sales. In recent years, there has been quite some pressure on the organic market, and there has also been a consolidation phase. Additionally, we see, for example, in the Scandinavian market that consumers are leaning more towards local, sustainable products. All in all, we don't see exponential growth in the market, but compared to a few years ago, fortunately, the organic sales are growing again."

"We are positive about the future. We see that consumers are very keen on the origin of the products and also on how the cultivation takes place. Consumers remain enthusiastic, but they want to know more. As Fairtrasa, we have already started with regenerative organic cultivation of bananas, and avocados and mangoes are the next step," says Oscar. Fairtrasa is not limiting itself to the popular Kent variety. "We are exploring to present other varieties in the future to better serve the real mango enthusiasts. The Kent has been popular for years, but I am convinced that there are even more flavorful mangoes to be found," concludes Oscar, excitedly.

For more information:
Oscar van Reisen
Hovenierstraat 120
2671 DB Naaldwijk
Tel: +31 174 291 604
[email protected]

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