"This season we are expecting the overall volume to be more than last season, which is good"

Strong start to season provides optimism for Australia's mango growers as production ramps up

The Australian Mango Industry Association (AMIA) is confident that consumers will enjoy high-quality mangoes right throughout the summer, after a strong start to production in the Top End.

In the week ending 1 October, 375,000 trays were sent to market, mostly from the Darwin region, but also small volumes from Katherine and Kununurra. This week more than 500,000 trays are expected out of the region and AMIA CEO Brett Kelly says that the start of the Australian mango season has given growers good signs for optimism throughout the next few months.

"It's still early days, but so far it has all been good," he said. "Volumes from the Top End have been good - Calypso, in particular, has been really good. Queensland will be next, where the flowering has been good and everything there is looking okay. The feedback that I am getting from the growers is that last season we were down on the previous season, but this season we are expecting the overall volume to be more than last season, which is good. In terms of variety, Kensington Pride has been down, but Calypso is up. This mostly has to do with seasonality, and the flowering timing has made a real difference this year."

Photo: above, Calypso mangoes being grown in Katherine; below, R2E2 mangos from Kununurra (source: AMIA)

Queensland growers are forecast to start supplying the market later this month, and Mr Kelly says the feedback he has been getting from the state's growers is that volumes are expected to be up on last year, especially R2E2 and Calypso varieties.

"Weather conditions have been okay and talking with the growers, conditions have been conducive with a good harvest this season (overall). So, there has been no issues there—or nothing that is going to majorly impact harvest at this point," Mr Kelly said.

The strong demand for Australian mangoes is also experienced in international markets, but Mr Kelly says while that creates some great opportunities, in New Zealand, Korea and the United States, the main focus is on the domestic market. While Mr Kelly says marketing and promotion is a key part of the Australian Mango Industry's strategy to drive mango consumption.

"From my perspective, I think our mangoes, produced by Australian farmers, are the best in the world," he said. "So, consumers are going to get really good quality fruit again, throughout the whole season. The main focus that we have had in terms of marketing is to capitalise on the fact that everyone has been in a tough time with the COVID-19 pandemic, and when you have a mango it is refreshing and something to look forward to. So, we (AMIA and Hort Innovation) are pushing that point. I think consumers will be in for a real treat; I sit in on retailer meetings once a fortnight and so far, all of the feedback has been really good."

Another important development for industry this year, according to Mr Kelly was the announcement of the National Mango Breeding Program, which has produced three new mango varieties, transitioning to the next phase of commercial development, under a new arrangement with the Queensland Government's DAF taking on the Licensor role moving forward.

"Newmanco has entered an agreement with the CSIRO and DAF, where DAF has taken over from Newmanco," he said. "It is a really good outcome and we are really supportive of DAF taking it to the next level of commercialisation, and it's a good outcome for the growers. It is a project that has been going for a number of years, and I think that developing new varieties and taking them to the point of commercialisation with branding is good for our growers and market positioning. The expertise and resources to be provided by DAF is fantastic news for those involved, such as the nurseries providing high health growing material, the growers nurturing their trees, and for mango lovers alike, as the new project team continues to bring these exciting varieties to market."

The AMIA will be holding pre-season roadshows for growers in Queensland's Bowen, Ayr and Mareeba regions from this week, while the Darwin Mango Madness Festival is scheduled for 13 November. It is an "interactive and educational, delicious, and sticky" event, to celebrate Darwin’s mango season. AMIA hopes to Australian Mango Industry Stakeholders at these events. Mr Kelly is encouraging those interested in the mango industry's weekly production data to subscribe to AMIA’s weekly communication for more details, by clicking here.

For more information
Brett Kelly
Australian Mango Industry Association
Phone: +61 7 3278 3755

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