"There's not much they can do", says Jara
Mango Ecuador Foundation executive director Johnny Jara says U.S. authorities are sometimes taking up to 30% of cargo arrivals for inspection, following the salmonella scare that hit the industry a couple of months ago.
"The fact the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is revising isn’t a problem; the problem is that once you’ve done the sampling and you get the results, it is taking more than 10 days, and that complicates the quality of the mangoes, because mangoes are perishable," he says.
"But once the fruit moves, it is distributed and goes to supermarkets, because the results come back that there isn't salmonella, and it ripens and has a shorter shelf life.
"They can’t do much because they are rules from the United States. You have to comply with these rules that the United States is demanding, but it is affecting us - this is about the health of the American people, and health is not something you negotiate."
He says prices have been good with fewer mangoes in the market, but the country is expected to raise its volumes through November and December.
He adds a policy of restricted export volumes has been a big success for the industry in keeping good prices for shippers and growers.
"There isn’t growth in hectares in Ecuador. We have around 5,300 hectares of export mangoes, and I think the market is good in the United States. People are eating more mangoes and the work of the National Mango Board has been great for consumption."