Jamaica will soon be exporting Jamaican mangoes to the United States of America.
The Ministry of Agriculture is moving ahead to put in place the necessary export/import requirements to comply with the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as explained in the article “Jamaica Seeking To Export Mangoes To US”, published Thursday June 4, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.
Jamaica had originally gotten permission from the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in September 2014 to export Mangoes to the US of A as reported in my blog article entitled “Jamaica to Export Mangoes to America – Why US$20 Million Processing Plant for Radiation Therapy and Hot Water Baptism needed to Tap US$500 Million US Market”.
The announcement was made by Acting Minister of Agriculture Derrick Kellier during the opening ceremony for the Ministry’s Plant Quarantine Division’s exporters’ forum on Tuesday June 2nd 2015 that was held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston
Once we’re qualified, we’ll be able to export the following varieties of Mangoes:
1. East Indian
2. St Julian
3. Number Eleven
This is now possible thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture Pre-Clearance facility, which gives Jamaica the ability to process and export Mangoes and fifty one (51) other fruits and vegetables to the United States of America.
Back in September 2014, that shortlist was extended to include Jamaican mangoes, as well as calalloo, pineapple, strawberries, guineps and breadfruit, which is also being grown under the National Fruit-Tree Crop Project as explained in my blog article entitled “Breadfruit and Fruit Tree Revival coming under RADA’s National Fruit-Tree Crop Project – Red Stripe and Agro-Investment Corporation an example of how Agriculture benefits both Farmer and GOJ”.
We had been originally slated to start exports in January 2015 but we had to satisfy certain requirements set by the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Jamaica to export Mangoes to US of A – How Jamaica qualified to export Mangoes but cannot import Chicken Back from US of A
So how does this United States Department of Agriculture Pre-Clearance facility work?
This pre-clearance facility lists fruits and vegetables that Jamaica produces that meet with the stringent standards of the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the division of the United States Department of Agriculture that sets the rules for what Jamaica can and cannot export to the US of A.
Prior to getting permission back in September 2014, Jamaica had been banned from exporting to the USA for 30 years. This was due to the presence of the West Indian Fruit Fly (Anastrepha obliqua) and the Caribbean Fruit Fly (Anastrepha suspensa) as noted in my blog article entitled “Breadfruit and Fruit Tree Revival coming under RADA’s National Fruit-Tree Crop Project – Red Stripe and Agro-Investment Corporation an example of how Agriculture benefits both Farmer and GOJ”.
This time around, to reduce the risk of spreading this pest in the US of A, the Ministry of Agriculture has had to build a US$20 million Processing plant in order to process the Mangoes to make them fit for export. The larvae of these pests are deeply embedded in the Mango’s skin.
In order to remove them, the US$20 million Processing plant uses one of two (2) methods:
1. A hot water immersion bath
2. Irradiation using a Cobalt-60 source typically found in older X-Ray Machines
So how profitable is the export of Mangoes to the US market? Very profitable, albeit their interest in Mangoes overall is shrinking.
American market for Mangoes – 14 Mango Orchards to supply the US of A Demand
In addition to this strict procedure, the Jamaican mangoes can only come from fourteen (14) or more designated farms registered with the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. These orchards are located as follows:
1. 10 in St Thomas
2. 2 in St James
3. 2 to 150 hectares
4. Julie and East Indian Mangoes are the main varieties
Albeit this may seem a lot to go through to export Mangoes, consider these statistics:
1. US$500 million market in the US of A for Local Farmers
2. US$1.2 million to US$1.6 million worth of Mangoes exported annually over the past decade
3. US$1.9 billion Global Demand for Mangoes in 2013
These fourteen (14) Mango orchards have the following export capacity:
1. 261,000 kg of Mangoes to the US per annum
2. 261,000 kg is 0.1% of current demand from the US of A
3. 500,000 kg of Mangoes estimated to be reaped in 2015
Current Total demand for Mangoes by the US market is estimated as follows:
1. US$360 million to US$500 million in 2015
2. US$180 million in 2003
Globally, however, the US A isn’t the largest importer of Mangoes, as Canada and the UK are also falling in love with Mangoes:
1. 30% of exported Mangoes go to the US of A in 2004
2. 26% of exported Mangoes go to the US of A in 2014
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is getting hooked on Jamaican Mangoes since 2014:
1. 670,000 kg of Mangoes exported to Canada and the UK
2. US$1.5 million in foreign from Mangoes exported to Canada and the UK
So in summary, we’re spending US$20 to go after a shrinking US$360 million to US$500 million American demand for Mangoes. So what’s rally holding the interest of Americans in the fruit department?
American market for Mangoes is shrinking – Bananas are the new fruit of choice
America’s waning love for the Mango over the decade has to do with the rising love for Bananas, with the American market being the largest single consume of the yellow fruit. It’s convenient to eat and unlike Mangoes, isn’t prone to being soft or juicy, running all over your hands and leaving stains on your clothes.
Bananas are the perfect snack fruit and farms in Latin America owned by American company Chiquita Banana are already supplying that demand.
So basically, the Ministry of Agriculture has gotten permission to sell Jamaican mangoes to a market that’s’ slowly losing interest in Mangoes even as the rest of the world sees them a then as the next best thing to Apples, grapes or pears.
Still, water baptism wouldn’t hurt our Mango exporting prospects now that we have access to United States Department of Agriculture Pre-Clearance facility!