U.S. approves value-added Colombian mangoes
For fresh mangoes to enter the U.S., they must meet certain specifications. The fruit must be sent peeled, without seeds and in slices no thicker than 1.5 centimeters.
The fruit must also be marketed through the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA).
ICA general manager Teresita Beltrán Ospina welcomed the new market option for Colombian producers.
"This opportunity represents an interesting alternative for Colombian mango producers, who can already begin or increase exports by diversifying their offer with fresh, value-added products that have low technological demand," Beltrán said.
This opportunity also requires exporters to investigate markets, technological production, packing and how to maximize the fruit's shelf life."
She also commented on the strengthened national program against fruit fly, which has been a major limiting factor for Colombian exports.
Colombia has 18,500 hectares dedicated to mango production, the majority of which stays on the domestic market. Until now, most Colombian mango exports have been in pulp form. Pulp exports reach 3,000 tons (MT) a year, compared to just 50 MT for fresh fruit, sent mostly to Europe and Japan.