Pakistani mango exports to U.S. in jeopardy over import costs
The U.S. received its first Pakastani imports last year with two shipments of 3-4,000lbs which were charged US$1,500 per 1000lbs.
Sadex said even though the irradiation time was just 30 minutes it took four hours to process each consignment by the time U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors had examined the fruit.
Sadex president Harlan Clemmons, said this year he will be charging importers per hour rather than by weight because his company lost money processing small lots.
He explained his centre can handle up to 30,000lbs of fruit an hour delivering economies of scale for larger quantities.
U.S. importer Mangozz.com owner Jaidev Sharma, said there was a danger the new pricing calculation would make production costs prohibitively expensive.
"If the price increases to an exhorbitant level then we will not be able to import this year. It is still a test year for Pakistani mangoes. You have to get a few shipments in first before you start shipping in larger quantities," he said.
Clemmons said if importers could impose a requirement for uniformity of mango size from Pakistani producers then this could speed things up.
"Realistically, I think there are some responsiblities with the mango importer who needs to stipulate what they want from the orchards with specific guidelines," said Clemmons.
Multan Progressive Mango Growers’ Group’s chief executive Tariq Khan, said his organization was currently lobbying the U.S. Embassy to speed up the process of accrediting Pakistan's own irradiation centre in Lahore.
"We are working on having our own irradiation facility which would bring down the production costs considerably for exporting to the U.S," said Khan.
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