“Fabulous” is how Alvise and Noalene Brazzale described their first Australian Mango conference.
“We attended the 10th Australian Mango Conference in Darwin in May. It was very well organised with good speakers who touched on areas that we were concerned about in regards to exports, retail and consumer expectations and Resin Canal Discolouration.
The discussions that took place about exports were fantastic especially with representatives from the companies who imported Australian mangoes to the US. They were really excited about the program and enthusiastic about getting our mangoes into the USA.
I was eager to be a part of the US export program during last season to promote our beautiful Australian mangoes to US consumers and it was a great opportunity. AMIA, the Department of Agriculture and Steritech were all very helpful and provided us with the information we needed to proceed with the US export program.
We are really proud to be involved with the first shipment of Australian mangoes to the US. It certainly met our expectations and our mangoes were really well received, which is what we were hoping for.
To get involved with the program, I applied for export approval through the Department of Agriculture. The US authorities require a full tractability system and segregation of fruit to pass inspection.
I have an integrated pest management program in place on my orchard, a pest consultant to monitor pests and disease and keep a good record of my spray program so I did not need to put in too much additional work other than providing an allocated block for the US program. We were audited by the Department of Agriculture and the USA department APHIS and our systems were verified. I am looking to expand the block dedicated to US exports for this season if negotiations between our exporters and mango importers continues the positive relationship.
Exporting is not new to us. We have been exporting for 21 years. In the early days 60% of our fruit, mostly Kensington Pride and Keitt, went to the Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Now I mostly export R2E2 to Hong Kong.
There has been a lot of interest in the Australian mango industry about exporting to the USA and my advice for people wanting to get involved tis to make sure that you supply good quality, mature fruit. We believe this program will increase the profitability of our business because if we can lift the pressure off our domestic market when it is flooded it will lift the whole industry.”