For the first time, Australians can expect to see mangoes from India popping up in the markets soon, with a number of Indian businesses working hard to export fruit this season.
Revised protocols have opened the door for Indian imports, with fruit allowed into Australia as long as it has been treated with irradiation prior to export.
It will not be the first time Australia has imported mangoes, with Mexico, the Philippines and Pakistan exporting small numbers of fruit over the years.
Robert Gray from the Australian Mango Industry Association, said the Indian mangoes would be for sale outside of the Australian mango season.
He said if the fruit met bio-security standards then the trade should be fine.
“Our position is that, as part of the global trade, if we want access to other countries around the world [to export Australian mangoes], then providing the protocol is safe and not bringing in any pests or diseases, then we’re supportive of other countries having access into our market,” he said.
Mr Gray said India had started exporting mangoes to the United States as well, but it was hard to know what type of volumes would be sent to Australia.
“While India is a huge mango-growing country, their export business is a bit like ours,” he said.
“[India will be] targeting affluent markets, markets where they can place small quantities of very high-value product.
“So India is currently trying to ship 200 to 300 tonne of mangoes to the US a year, and it would be those sorts of volumes at a maximum [to Australia] I would expect.”
Australians to get a taste of different mango varieties
One of the Indian companies looking to send mangoes to Australia is Kay Bee Exports.
Speaking to Fresh Fruit Portal, Kay Bee Exports chief executive Kaushal Khakhar, said all shipments to Australia would be by air, and the company would initially focus on exporting the Alphonso and Kesar varieties.
“Alphonso is slightly tricky but handled well it is one of the best varieties in India,” he said.
“Kesar is the best commercial variety because it has a good price, good flavour, and it handles very well.”
He said the opportunity to export mangoes to Australia first opened up several years ago, but the revised protocol has made it a more viable option.
The Indian mango season runs from March until the end of July.