Fun, sun, and those tasty Australian mangoes

My name is Andrew Burns and I am your new Supply Chain Engagement Manager working for AMIA in collaboration with Hort Innovation. My role replaces that vacated recently by Treena Welch, and works closely with Belinda Van Schaik, Marketing Manager at Hort Innovation.

The objective of the Supply Chain Engagement Project is to develop and organise activities involving key supply chain stakeholders to build interest, excitement, and an understanding of the mango industry; ultimately to increase the demand and consumption of fresh Australian mangoes. There is opportunity to also bring growers closer to the market and the market closer to growers.

At the time of writing this article, I have just commenced in the role. I have been busy reviewing a mountain of history, understanding the process from tree to store, the markets (domestic and international), our previous campaigns, understanding the new 2022-26 Mango Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), meeting our retail partners and learning from them the importance of mangoes in their business. I also visited a local grower in my region to get a hands-on appreciation of the grower annual activities.

I cannot speak highly enough of the AMIA management team under the leadership of Brett. Linda, Jess, Marine, Paige and Celine have all been very welcoming and have a wealth of knowledge, support, and a passion for this exciting industry.

My immediate background has been in the dairy industry for the previous 14 years holding varied management roles within a 100% Australian farmer owned dairy co-operative. We were up against some very large and sizable international players with plenty of clout, however the mid-sized Australian farmer owned co-operative was and continues to outgrow the competitors, on the back of the 100% Australian farmer marketing approach; quality products and the community association of the products linked to “real Aussie farmers”. Australians can be really passionate and supportive of Australian home-grown products.

I have seen in my short time with AMIA plenty of mangoes of all varieties sitting proudly in mass displays at high profile store locations. The retailers have got behind and understand that our mangoes are often purchased on impulse. Retailers promote internally the need for high profile easy to shop mango displays, and have been supporting this with a plethora of mango marketing, via; weekly catalogues, recipe ideas within their monthly magazines, and TV commercials. We assist with the investment of specific point of sale, best display incentives and broader mango marketing for the wider audience. Shopped out mango displays highlight the high sales and quick turnover that our fruit generates.

I believe there is an opportunity to bring the grower into the story. Yes, mangoes themselves are a delicious fruit to consume in many different ways, however there is a ton of great innovative work that is completed on farm, some by individuals, and some by large teams, that brings the fruit to life and to market. Those stories (and the links) could be shared to bring the retailer and consumer a step closer to the mango tree and to growers. The grower can become part of the mango selling story.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that doing business differently can get similar results (when compared to how we did things pre-pandemic). The use of zoom meetings has now taken the need away to meet directly with retailers. Face to face contact is difficult and we do not really know when it will be safe to go back to that. With this in mind, our communication to retailers, including any training sessions, will most likely be electronic in nature, to ensure we are engaging with as many people as possible.

The same goes for the weekly shopping trip. A large and growing proportion of all grocery transactions are now made online. Some assumptions are that even post-pandemic, the use of online purchases will continue to grow. The impulse, front of store mango displays are fantastic for the in-store shopper. The retailer however will need to replicate the impulse approach for online users to ensure mangoes are top of mind when they browse online.

l look forward to working with Belinda and the Hort Innovation team, AMIA, growers and our other industry stakeholders to replicate the successes, and build on the fantastic work completed by Tate and Treena before us for the remainder of this season and the season ahead.

For further information please contact Andrew Burns, Supply Chain Engagement Manager:

P: 0428 662 726 E: andrew@mangoes.net.au.

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