Freska expecting strong growth in Mexican mango volumes
Freska Produce International, LLC, a leading marketer of mangos announced that it has certified and begun to harvest and pack Mexican mangos in Chiapas and Oaxaca.
Starting out, the variety that will be first harvested are large-sized Ataulfo “Honey” Mangos out of Chiapas. A plentiful supply will also come out of Oaxaca with more medium to smaller fruit.
In about two to three weeks Freska will begin harvesting Red Mango Tommy Akins Variety out of Oaxaca. With the opening of Mexican Mango Season, Freska will supply customers with mangos both organic and conventional all the way through September.
“Were one of the top importers from Mexico, and we normally import the most or second most mangoes out of Mexico,” said Gary Clevenger, Managing Member of Freska Produce International.
U.S. market increasing consumption
“Mango is a growing commodity, today it’s the most eaten fruit in the world and here in the United States it's working its way up the ladder,” said Clevenger.
Hispanic and Asian communities are the main consumers of fruit. Therefore the main marketing target for importers is Americans who didn't grow up with mangos as a part of their diet.
This year, the focus will be on quality, food safety, and fair-trade mangos.
Last year, Freska returned close to $700,000 to Growers and Packers in Mexico through the fair-trade program.
“Basically, the fair trade program is that we sell the fruit at a little higher price to retail and then we send that money back to packers, growers, and anybody in the supply chain,” explained Clevenger.
The program’s main focus is to increase the quality of life of people involved in the supply chain of mangos in Mexico by providing extra money quarterly.
Expectations for the Mexican season
Mexico is a major player in the mango market, last year it produced 65 million lbs. of mangos for the US Market an increase of 12% over the previous year.
“We always look forward to the Mexican market, it's the most volume that we get and this year is building up to be a good year,” added Clevenger.
Varieties produced are Tommy Atkins, Kents, Keitts, Hadens, and Ataulfos.
“We will increase our volume 30% over last year with a combination of a brand-new pack house coming in line first part of February along with added production from new groves coming into production,” Says Jesus “Chuy” Loza of Freska. “Freska will offer special packs along with the standard 4 kilo Mango box, Clamshell, Bags, and a 5 Down configuration (22 lb/10 kilo) ”.