Ecuador’s mango harvest officially began just over three weeks ago and is expected to reach a 5% volume increase over last year. The nation should produce 11.5 million boxes, mostly of Ataulfos, by the end of harvest in mid-January.
Ecuadorian Mango Foundation president Bernardo Malo said climate has been favorable so far for the crop but that it was still too early to comment on the fruits’ size.
“The crop began close to Sept. 20 with Ataulfo, which is a yellow mango. This runs from week 39 until week 2 or 3. But this depends, of course, on the rains,” he told www.freshfruitportal.com.
Fruit has already begun export with the main focus on the U.S., Ecuador’s top mango market.
“The fruit has been exported since the end of September and more than 80% will go to the U.S. The rest will go to Europe, Canada and Mexico,” he said.
With regard to new markets, Malo said entrance into new regions has not been a major focus, with the exception of Japan.
“For the moment we are not thinking of entering new markets. Some fruit enters Chile and Central America, but those markets are small. We are working on opening the market in Japan, but that will take a few more years because there are phytosanitary demands and very rigorous protocol that has to be met step by step,” he said.
With respect to marketing campaigns, Malo said they will be working with the National Mango Board to encourage consumption on the North American market.