South Africa calls for improved global mango export data

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South Africa calls for improved global mango export data

South Africa's mango production may pale in insignificance when it comes to other growing countries like India, Mexico and Brazil, but the country's industry is calling for an international Mango Marketing, Promotion and Information Working Group (MMPI) to improve the data available for exporters. At we speak with South African Mango Growers Association (SAMGA) industry affairs manager Rudolf Badenhorst about how improvements could provide a well-needed boost to trade.


The rise of Peru has driven South African mango growers out of Europe to focus on their domestic market, yet the country hasn't lost interest in global production and improving industry transparency.

"Peru has become a major player in Europe so it's become less profitable for South Africa to export to the European Union and with our fresh mangoes we now focus largely on the domestic market, while about 70% goes into processing, including juice and pickled mangoes called 'Atchar'," Badenhorst told

"We're currently working on access for new markets and hopefully that will come into effect in the next two to five years and then the industry might drastically change."

He says Indian buyers have shown interest in South African mangoes due to the counter-seasonal benefits, while the industry is also looking to ship fruit to the U.S. and China.

"We've got to see the situation in the global arena and what exports are like for all the countries in that arena."

While SAMGA clearly has an interest in testing the waters through improved international mango export knowledge, Badenhorst says there is more to gain for the biggest exporters.

"We'd like to get all the smaller players like Australia involved but there's probably more benefit for the bigger growers than us, although it still helps in getting a global picture.

South Africa's mango season runs from late-November through to April, with around 40% of production focused on the Tommy Atkins variety.

Details of the Proposal

He says a 'lack of initiative' is the biggest reason why such a group does not exist already, but hopes everyone from Latin America through to Asia to Oceania will jump on board.

Badenhorst has called for a voluntary formal meeting of international mango industry role-players, in a bid to strengthen relationships and share shipment volume information, promotion and marketing.

He points out the formed group would act as a bridge between competitors through common interests, but would need to be managed in such a way that does not conflict with individual interests.

He highlights the success of a similar working group in the global avocado industry, which has led to combined generic promotion activities.

Click here to read the full proposal.

Industry response

International Mango Organization (IMO) executive director Will Cavan has responded positively to the proposal, but says there are several steps that need to be taken for it to work.

"The first order of business would be to train exporting countries on how to accurately forecast projected mango crops. A globally recognized organization must certify acreage, age, etcetera, so that the projections are uniform and relevant," he says.

"In addition, the scope and breadth of the marketing group must be global and include all mango producing countries, not just traditional exporters."

Cavan points to three main goals for the industry:

1) Identify potential markets

2) Determine profitability of cultivars

3) Identify optimum growing regions and discourage marginal production

Do you have something to say about the global mango industry or SAMGA's idea? Contact us by email at, drop us a line on twitter: @fruitportal or our post on our Facebook page.

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