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The value of Australian mangoes getting stronger each year
While there are some still to be counted, the Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) says it is looking like being the biggest crop the industry has produced in the past five years, and from a value perspective, it is looking like the highest ever.
"The market, after being oversupplied in December, cleared by Christmas week," CEO Robert Gray said. "Right across January, February and March prices regained to good levels, and the increased volumes that we had seen continued past January until the end (of the season)."
Photo source: Australian Mango Industry Association
But it was not just out on the field where the AMIA says the industry has grown, with a lot of work put into the strategic plan in getting the fruit right along the supply chain.
"The biggest highlight was the accumulation of the work that has been done in the past three years, which is getting a strong focus on consumer quality," Mr Gray said. "Also, the transparency of crop flow information, and using both of those things to engage target markets and retailers, to build their marketing programs in-store and media. What we saw this year is we have increased volumes, and retailers and markets did a great job at marketing and selling the crop and we saw values being sustained, with the exception of December. We got increased volumes without pulling too hard on the price lever. But the job is not done and we have to make sure we deliver that every month of the season."
One area that Mr Gray identified as an area for improvement is in crop forecasting, as estimates continued to be revised upwards, which has the potential to create a glut in supply.
"Where we have regions that overlap with quantities of fruit, we need to make sure as an industry we can move that extra volume without affecting price," he said. "That is where we were exposed this year, and that's where I say good forecasting is important to that."
Photo source: Australian Mango Industry Association
Another focus of the industry over the next few seasons will be on export markets, especially improving current and existing protocol processes with China. Currently most of supply goes through Hong Kong channels, and the AMIA says business can be improved by ensuring it is dealing direct in a planned and organised fashion.
"We are working hard in terms of trying to improve protocols that we already have, but also encouraging growers to embrace existing protocols," Mr Gray said. "We've quite refreshingly seen an investment in an additional vapour heat plant in Australia this year, which is going to allow extra capacity to that channel for the upcoming season. So being able to grow our export business alongside the growth we have got with our ongoing production is a major strategic imperative that we need to deliver on."
He adds that with the emphasis being placed on mangoes being a high-flavoured, good eating fruit, other competing industries have had to lift their game, but it is important not to become complacent. One key factor is the continual evolution of the varieties, which Mr Gray says has been ongoing for the past two decades.
"So we have got growers in each of the regions across Australia are planting out three new varieties that will be seriously evaluated over the next three years, and that will go to a wider release at the end of that time frame," he said. "Those varieties have the underlying KP flavour, but have got improved productivity, better shelf life, better visual characteristics that we think will allow the industry to continue to grow and continue to tap into new markets."
For more information
Australian Mango Industry Association
Phone: +617 3278 3755
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