In 2020, organic fruit and vegetable importer Eosta became the first in the world to put a Living Wage product on shop shelves: the Living Wage mango from Zongo Adama in Burkina Faso. Eosta customers paid 10 cents more per kilo of mangoes to ensure Zongo’s employees earn a living wage. A second product will be added in April 2021: Living Wage avocados from Anthony Ngugi in Kenya. Unlike the mangoes, Eosta customers will now not be given a choice – if you want to sell Anthony’s avocados, you have to pay the living wage price, which is 2 cents per kilo more.
Living Wage is a new concept in food retail practice. A living wage allows for a decent standard of living for a family, and is usually higher than the local minimum wage. If we truly want to eradicate poverty and give people a fair chance, products must be priced to pay a living wage. Although many organizations are conducting extensive studies on Living Wage, Eosta is the first company to bring Living Wage to the shop and to the consumer. The launch of avocados will be followed by Zongo’s mangoes later in April.
In order to be able to sell the Kenyan avocados as Living Wage, an inventory of the incomes of Anthony Ngugi’s 83 employees and the standard of living in Kenya was carried out in the fall of 2020. Eosta followed the protocol of the development organization the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), using their calculation method. This year, for the first time, a review of the calculation by an auditor took place, which is a first step toward Living Wage certification. A Kenyan employee of the international auditor Sedex conducted the inventory. Formal certification of Living Wage does not exist yet, but this is an important step in that direction.
The study showed that adding 2 cents per kilo to the price of avocados is necessary to provide a living wage. Major retailers in Scandinavia, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have shown interest. The first pioneers in 2020 were health food stores in Germany and Austria. During the summer season, Eosta sold over 100,000 kilos of Living Wage mangoes to them. The premium collected was enough to cover 40% of the wage gap for Zongo Adama warehouse workers.
Pakistan has already surpassed its mango export target by 45,000 tons this season. The All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) states that the country has exported 125,000 tons of mangoes so far this season, worth US$72 million. The original target had been revised downwards in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Profit.pakistantoday.com.pk reports PFVA Patron-in-Chief, Waheed Ahmed, as saying: “The target was achieved after PFVA adopted an aggressive strategy coupled with timely decisions taken by the federal government. In the next 45 days, an additional mango export of 25,000 tons is expected.”
Afghanistan (46,276 tons) has emerged as Pakistan’s top mango export destination for the current season, while the UAE (33,000 tons), Iran (18,000 tons) and Oman (11,500 tons) also remain prominent international markets.
Bernardo Malo, CEO /// PRESS RELEASE
24 June 2020 – The Mango Ecuador Foundation located in Guayaquil (Ecuador), which gathers around 97 % of the country´s growers, packers & shippers, recently elected their new Boards of Directors for the 2020-2022 period.
Mr. Bernardo Malo, CEO and managing member of tropical produce shipping company Refin S.A. was unanimously elected as Chairman of the new Board, together with Mr. Oscar Orrantia, CEO of Durexporta S.A., as Vice-Chairman.
According to Mr. Bernardo Malo one of the main goals of the new Board is to work closely with all the industry in order to achieve better results for its members, especially during this challenging moments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mango business just as any other has its ups and downs, however the key factor is to be persistent and to have the right strategies in place in order to be able to compete successfully with the each time more demanding markets in terms of quality, marketing, food safety, and so on.
Mr. Johnny Jara who is the Executive Director of the Mango Foundation will continue to interact with its members and strategic partners. One of his main responsibilities is to coordinate the export pre-clearance programs with domestic and foreign public phytosanitary agencies.
The shutdown of foodservice channels across the world is having a devastating effect on the mango market and other products perceived as being luxury fruits. Gary Clevenger, managing member and co-founder of California-based grower-shipper Freska Produce International LLC, told The Packer, “The mango market started out strong and good; now the market has slowed due to foodservice being non-existent and the COVID-19 uncertainty. Shoppers seems to be sticking to the food staples of potatoes, onions, and veg. We’re aggressively trying to promote ads in hopes of getting fruit to retail.”
Chris Ciruli, partner in Arizona-based Ciruli Bros. LLC, agrees: “We’re seeing major chains still carrying the bulk of their product items but not their full load. To compound that, you’re seeing the shutdown of the European market, as well as Mexican and Central American suppliers. You’re not seeing boats go to Europe, so more are destined for the US, whether from Costa Rica or Guatemala.”
Never before has a Peruvian company achieved this export figure in one campaign.
Sunshine Export SAC, located in the city of Tambogrande, exported its 1,000th container of fresh mango of the 2019/2020 campaign. This set a new record, both for the company and for the country, since never before has any company achieved this number of fresh mango shipments abroad during the same campaign.
It should be noted that the current campaign is still ongoing, so this figure could be exceeded, with the commercial window of fresh mango in Peru extending until April.
Representatives of the company highlighted the efforts of all its workers and showed their satisfaction with what has been achieved. They now aim to follow the same route to reach new and greater goals.
Sunshine Export is the leading Peruvian exporter of fresh mango. Its campaign runs from October to April, during which time the company markets the Kent, Edward and Keitt varieties in fresh and frozen forms. The firm also exports fresh and frozen avocado in the Hass, Fuerte and Zutano varieties.
– The company has exported mango since 1985 and its fruit reaches more than 15 countries around the world.
– A container stores 22 tons of fresh mango.
India’s Uttar Pradesh state has shipped its first container of mangoes to Europe, according to The Times of India. A cargo of ten tons of the Chausa variety was shipped to Italy by the State Agricultural Produce Markets Board. Previously, the mangoes were sent by air, but given the high cost of freight, the fruit wasn’t competitive. As the transit time by sea is 20 days, the mangoes are now packed using technology that increases the fruit’s shelf-life.
DFT (Distribuidora de Frutas Tropicales) is a Guatemalan company founded in 2000 that grows, packages and markets mangoes of the Tommy Atkins, Ataulfo, Kent and Keitt varieties. Luis Carlos Martínez, general manager, said, “We started exporting Tommy Atkins mango to the United States and we gradually managed to expand in the North American market on the east and west coast, and in Canada and Europe.” Recently, the company has begun exporting mango to Chile after years of discussions between the governments of Guatemala and Chile, and DFT was the pioneer in sending the first fruits. The firm has more than 400 hectares of mango production, “which allows us to control the entire crop cycle.” The harvest season in Guatemala begins in February and ends in June. As part of its growth plans, DFT built a frozen food processing plant in 2016, and began producing mango pulp and frozen mango pieces in IQF. “Although our strength has always been in the fresh product, in order to diversify and add value to our material, we decided to enter the world of frozen products. Our vision for our processed mango is to reach new markets and position ourselves as a leading company in the region and to sell mango all year round,” said Martínez. DFT has a USDA-certified packaging plant for hydrothermal treatment, as well as GlobalG.A.P., Primus GFSI, and HACCP certifications, and is currently undergoing BRC certification. The plant can process over 1.5 million 4kg box of mangoes per season, pack 6kg boxes in ‘ready to eat’ air mode, up to 2,000kg per week, and process 3.6 million kg of frozen mango.
Since 2001, GO MANGO has been producing Keitt mangoes in Puerto Rico. It currently has 1,000 acres in production, representing 200 annual export containers, and 500 acres are now being incorporated. “When we started the company, we planted the trees in a more compact area with the idea of acquiring more land in the future, moving the trees and expanding. We have just acquired a transplant machine and expect to double production in less than three years,” said Eileen Rodríguez, quality & compliance manager. The main market for GO MANGO is the EU, where 75% of the fruit is destined and where the largest customer base is concentrated. “The Netherlands and Germany are the main markets, although we are seeing that the UK is demanding more and more volume. Our interest is to continue expanding and raising brand awareness,” said Rodríguez. The firm also exports green mango to the US, especially for Asian consumers in that country. Rodriguez announced that the company’s next acquisition is a system of “forced cold”, a technology that cools the fruit quickly, slowing the ripening process and extending the life of the fruit. In addition to having certificates such as GLOBALG.AP, GRASP, Tesco and SMETA, in 2011, GO MANGO completed the integration of the fruit washing process with solar thermal heating, which allows it to heat all the water necessary for sterilising and processing mangoes before refrigeration and shipment. This saves 80% of energy resources. Similarly, the firm has installed solar panels on the roof of the packaging house, which allows it to produce 100% of the energy for its operations.
Aurora Fresh begins a year of many challenges, with a special focus on Asia. Already present in markets such as Europe, which accounts for almost half of its exports, as well as in the US and Canada, the firm’s goal is to export mango to Japan in 2019. “This is a very demanding market, but we can comply with the required quality levels,” said Armando Figueroa, operations manager at the third-generation family business of Mexican avocado and mango producers. “We are very close to the US, so there is a lot of competition to get to that market, which is why we are seeking alternative destinations. We have been growing gradually, experimenting and expanding. Eventually, we want to get to China, but the limitation is that our country still has no commercial treaty to export mango to that market.” With a commercial window that runs from February to August, and 800 hectares of fruit production, in the last campaign, Aurora Fresh produced 80,000 boxes of mango of the Ataulfo, Kent, Tommy and Haden varieties, and organic and conventional avocado, available all year round. As an added value, Figueroa said, “We have great synergy with the producers. We always try to support them as much as possible by offering good advice.” The Aurora Fresh brand is being patented this year to establish it in the international markets.
Empacadoras de Mango de Exportación (EMEX) will turn 28 in October. It groups 75 mango packers in Mexico with a hydrothermal treatment plant for the export of mango to international markets, mainly to the United States, which accounts for 90% of total exports. In 2018, the Association exported 65 million boxes of 4 kilos, and the projection for 2019 is to achieve 5% more, that is 68 million. Francisco Javier Villegas Ontiveros, chairman of the board of directors, said, “Our main market is US, with more than 90%, followed by Canada with 7%, and the remaining 3% is distributed in Asia, Oceania and Europe. The reason for our presence at Fruit Logistica, for the second year in a row, is to diversify our markets, while promoting the export of mango by ship to the EU. We believe there is a lot to develop in this market.” EMEX coordinates mango packers and producers in terms of research, phytosanitation, post-harvest treatment, and packing improvement, marketing. It takes care of the interests of this industry, functioning as an assistant in the coordination with Mexican and foreign authorities in the development of activities to be carried out jointly in the handling of the mango, nurturing the necessary conditions for the proper functioning of the work programmes and for the general improvement of the industry.
2nd International Congress of Mango Producers and Packers
One of the functions of EMEX is to promote new technologies for its members, be they in the mechanisation of processes in the field, in cultivation work or in packaging. That is why in 2017 it set up an International Congress of Mango Producers and Packers. This year, on November 21 and 22, the second edition will be held in Puerto Vallarta, where companies can offer innovations, while researchers can present their work. “Mexico is the world’s leading mango exporter and its fifth producer. We must position our local industry and attract other mango producers and exporters around the world to build the same vision,” said Villegas.