Peru mango exporters seek new niche in U.S. market
Members of the Association of Mango Exporters (APEM) want to open a new segment in the U.S. market by sending bigger mangoes between 1.4 pounds (650 grams) and 1.7 pounds (750 grams), said Juan Carlos Rivera, general manager of the group, according to Peruvian agricultural news website agraria.pe.
According to the website, Rivera said that the group is currently conducting laboratory tests with Peru’s agricultural safety agency, SENASA, that will be presented to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They would supply fresh, precut mangoes to supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.
The group expects that the U.S. government will approve the shipments in March. Therefore members are planning to export about 10,000 metric tons of the bigger mangoes, which will represent 10% of the total shipped next season, the website said.
Until now, APEM has exported fresh mangoes between about 0.75 pounds (350 grams) and 1.4 pounds to the U.S.
According to the website, Rivera said he thinks the mango sector is facing two specific challenges: attracting private investment and reaching new markets. Nevertheless, he highlighted that they have sold mangoes in Mexico for six seasons, in China for five and in Chile for three.
Rivera said that this season, from December to March, production will rise between 15% and 20%, despite the effects of a cold spell in the north in the last few months. He said that there are 22,000 hectares of land devoted to mango export.
Mango production has risen at a pace of 15% per year for the last decade, Rivera added. In 2009, they exported 107,000 metric tons and that the total production was 250,000 MT.