Mango exporter takes Pakistani govt to court
A mango exporter is taking legal action claiming the Pakistani government unfairly 'banned him' from distributing mangoes, causing significant losses to his business. Awab Enterprises export manager Noor Hussain spoke with www.freshfruitportal.com about what he calls 'a totally unfair' government policy that favors some exporters over others.
Hussain says his Lahore-based fruit export business, along with other mango exporters based in the Pakistan's Punjab, have been prevented from exporting the fruit by government officials who have only given permission to certain exporters in the port city capital Karachi.
"The government only allows someone in Karachi to export mangoes and I am in Lahore, Pakistan. This is not fair," he said.
"72% of mangoes are produced in the Punjab, but the government is only allowing someone in Karachi to export - that is not justified."
In response, Hussain has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court challenging what he considers to be a 'ban' on his business. There is due to be a hearing later this month.
"The situation is very bad due to the policy of the government in Pakistan so that's why I have brought it up in the High Court.
"We will take legal action to fight for our rights because this is extremely unfair and I hope the judiciary will give some relief to exporters who have been suffering very badly.
"Many exporters have lost huge amounts of money due to this policy," Hussain added.
On May 1 the European Union introduced a ban on Indian mangoes following concerns over pest control and contamination. It has hit the industry hard over the last few months and heightened the mango export debate.
The ban also opened up export possibilities for the Pakistani mango sector as gaps in the European market gave businesses like Awab Enterprises the chance to supply Europe, local rules permitting.
The knock-on effect has forced the industry in Pakistan to sharpen its focus and ensure all consignments meet phytosanitary regulations, while tightening controls generally so that only allowing government-approved pack houses and farms may be involved in exporting the fruit.
Government departments and industry officials have been educating growers and exporters about the importance of averting restrictions that could eventually lead to an outright ban.
The Pakistan government also works with Durrani Associates to operate a hot water treatment facility in Karachi to cleanse mangoes and other produce before they are exported.
Despite the raft of measures put in place to tighten controls problems in the industry, the U.K. government's Department for Food and Aural Affairs (Defra) intercepted a mango consignment contaminated with fruit flies transported from the Sindh region of Pakistan via an exporter on June 16.
"Allowing only some people is not right. I am suffering the same as many others. I have lost so much money and I want this to change.
"Our mangoes are good and very nice to eat. There are no problems with them so this is unfair." added Hussain.