As Australia celebrated the first weekend of summer, mango growers representing different regions and varieties left their farms to take to Sydney streets and experience all the energy, excitement, and exhilaration of a mango season in its peak!
Boarding the bus was Teresa Pham from NT Golden, Darwin; Dianne and Peter Marks from Ballongilly Farms, Katherine; Andrew Dalglish from The Fox Hole, Katherine; Emma Harrison from Nutrano, Katherine; Luciano Raco from King Producers, Katherine; Ian and Gloria Pershouse from IH & GA Pershouse, Benaraby; Ben and Ash-Lei Martin from Marto’s Mangoes, Bowen; and Kerry Singh from Bundaberg Fresh Produce, Bundaberg.
Now in its fourth year, the annual Grower Market Tour enables growers to experience the entire supply chain, giving them a real understanding of what it takes to create sales, velocity and momentum for mangoes.
Throughout the three days growers were given the opportunity to see things they had not seen before, hear things they had not heard, go behind doors they would not ordinarily walk through and share in conversations they would not otherwise have.
The tour began on Saturday visiting a wide range of stores across all retail markets including Aldi, Coles, Independent Greengrocers, Harris Farm Markets, Metcash / IGA and Woolworths. While the number and size of the mango displays varied from retailer to retailer one thing was indisputable—mangoes were the hero commanding front and centre stage at every store we visited.
Sunday dawned in full sunshine and with great excitement our growers enthusiastically boarded the bus and headed for Bondi Beach. Mess-tival is our industry’s signature event and something our growers were very keen to experience. Meeting and greeting consumers, they shared their stories, their knowledge and their passion, gave tips and advice, handed out samples, and smiled for the paparazzi.
Monday was our final day and as the sun came up we boarded the bus to tour the Sydney Markets and meet with wholesalers. This was an opportunity for growers to gauge the pulse of the market, to meet and speak with a range of wholesalers, to see our objective reporting process, and to add to their market intelligence.
The day ended with a tour of a Costco store and behind-the-scene tours of both the Woolworths and Aldi distribution centres providing growers with a deeper understanding of; the different business models, the service and quality requirements and the receivals, order picking, dispatch and quality assessment processes.
As the weekend drew to a close our growers left Sydney engaged, excited, exhilarated and exhausted. On behalf of Australian Mangoes, I extend sincere thanks and appreciation to all the growers, wholesalers and retailers who participated in making our 2017 Grower Tour a wonderful experience and an unforgettable mango memory. This year’s dates have been set and planning is already underway. We would love you to join us so please put Friday 30 November to Monday 3 December 2018 in your diary now.
For more information contact Treena Welch at AMIA: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 0417 001 253.
What our growers said about the Tour...
“A huge thank you to Australian Mangoes for hosting an outstanding farmers tour, I loved it and got a lot out of it. There is always stuff to learn and contacts to be made and this is an excellent way of achieving both. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing just how invested each of the retailers are in mangoes. While they all have different business models, it was obvious that mangoes are important to all of them. The retailer presentations were very good and I was particularly impressed with the IGA presentation as I can see that team working super hard and it feels like they are going to go places. It was great to see Woolworths and Aldi enforcing the industry quality specifications in their distribution centres. David Harris and his team put on a lunch and a half, and that team does an amazing job with mangoes. What the tour highlighted for me is that farmers are not alone, in fact there are a lot of people along the way that help us deliver an awesome mango experience, and it is great to see them so engaged.” - Andrew Dalglish
“An outstanding event with a good mixture of work and pleasure. Take the fun factor out (and there was plenty of that), it was definitely a worthwhile business investment. Big thanks to all those who hosted our visits. The Harris Farm Markets lunch was an extraordinary mango spread and the presentations from both Woolworths and Metcash were well received. Visiting the markets and distribution centres and seeing the quality assessments was insightful. Mess-tival was an outstanding celebration of summer and all things mangoes. If everyone who attends the Grower Market Tour has something to say to their agents and buyers, the mango message will continue to gain momentum. Usually when I go on a market trip it is all business with almost no fun, so it was awesome to have so much fun and such good company, so thank you to Australian Mangoes for encouraging us and we will spread the word for next year.” - Peter Marks
“This year was the second Grower Market Tour I have attended and what a year it was! I do not know how it can be done, but each year it gets better and better. It was great to hear the new strategy plans for not only Woolworths and Harris Farm Markets, but this year Metcash (IGA) also presented their plan. Mango madness is certainly rubbing off on everybody and it has become very noticeable that mangoes are now a big part of the Australian summer, and that they have become a hero fruit for retailers. Stores are putting a lot of effort into making great displays especially at the front of the stores.” - Emma Harrison
“Due to work commitments, I joined the Grower Market Tour half way through the event and found it to be a unique, jam-packed tour, with a great mixture of business and pleasure. Visiting Sydney Markets and retail chains in full mango madness, showed dedication from the farm right through to the retail floor. It is instrumental for every grower to have an understanding and personally experience what happens with their mangoes after they leave their pack house,
this tour covers it all.” - Kerry Singh
“The Grower Market Tour was a great experience and I would recommend it to other growers for next year. Stores had some fantastic mango displays that would have had to greatly increase sales. A great credit goes to David Harris from Harris Farms Markets and to his stores for their amazing mango displays, they were giving their customers such a large choice it seemed no one was leaving without mangoes. Mess-tival was a very exciting and busy morning with thousands of people sampling four different varieties of mangoes, and what a fantastic day it was to be at Bondi. Blue skies, warm sunshine, a beautiful beach and as far as the eye could see, thousands of people celebrating summer with mangoes. The visit to the wholesale markets was a good opportunity for us to see how the industry objective reporting is done, as well as being able to see the quality of mangoes on offer and what we are competing with. It also gave us a chance to catch up with our wholesaler. This is a trip that all growers should put on their to-do list.” - Ian Pershouse