Autumn started in earnest this week in Europe and with it, the overseas mango season. "We started with Brazilian mangoes on Tuesday," says José Maria Cubero Parejo of Fairtrasa. “We are importing mangoes from a grower who has been farming biodynamically for 15 years now. We are doing this for the second season now. These mangoes are Demeter certified.”
Mangoes with a story
“This farmer is involved in several social projects within his community in Brazil. He is originally from Switzerland. He ended up in Brazil due to other work activities. He stayed to follow his dream - helping the local people", says José. "This is why he started the mango farm. The cultivation of this fruit has already created many job opportunities. Schools have been built, and medical facilities have also been made available."
“In Brazil, Tommy Atkins and Keith are the main varieties grown. We will get these until about mid-December”, he explains. Right after the Brazilian season ends, this Dutch trading company begins with imports from Peru. "In Peru, we work mainly with small-scale farmers and cooperatives." This is also Fairtrasa's main goal. "We have started helping small-size farmers gain access to the market. We do this in, especially, Peru and Africa.”
After the season in Latin America is over, the season on another continent - Africa - also starts. “From April/May to mid-August, we import mangoes from Burkina Faso and Senegal.” The Peruvian and African mangoes are organic as well as Fairtrade certified. After that season runs its course, Fairtrasa stays closer to home and imports mangoes from Spain.
There is a lot of demand for organic mangoes. "Mangoes are one of the top products in our assortment. There is demand from throughout Europe. However, it is primarily from the German-speaking countries and Scandinavia. In 2016, we imported we 260.000 boxes of mangoes. In 2018, we are expecting this to reach more than 500.000. That is twice as much. We have sold mangoes with great results, both for us and the farmers", José concluded.