Yesterday, the first shipment of fresh Keitt Mangos left Colombia, destined for the port of Savannah, Georgia in the US with an expected arrival date of December 27th. Colombia hopes to compete in the over half-billion USD import market for Mangos in the US, with today’s primary exporters being Perú and México. In 2021, the US imported $552 million in fresh mango, up 29% from 2018.
Colombia already exports Mangos to Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, UAE, and Qatar. In 2021, the US Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) green-lighted Colombian Mangos on phytosanitary safety grounds. With this approval, Mangos make up one of the 108 fresh agricultural products admitted into the US, joining among other products, paprika, Hass avocado, uchuvas, blueberries, tangerine, orange, pineapple, aromatic herbs and Tahiti lemon.
This particular shipment was grown on the Varahonda farm in Palmira, formally known as Agricola Varahonda SA, and packed at Frutales Las Lajas in Zarzal, Valle del Cauca. The Varahonda farm in Valle del Cauca, near Cali, Colombia generates formal employment for mothers who are heads of household, and contributes to the economic and social development of the rural communities surrounding their crops in the southwest of the country.
“The first export of fresh mango to the United States represents a great opportunity to consolidate the exportable supply of fresh fruits, generating formal employment and opportunities in rural areas of the country. We will continue working to enhance national food production to achieve food sovereignty, and thus achieve balances in trade,” said the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, German Umaña Mendoza.
Colombia’s climate allows the country to produce Mangos year-round. According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cecilia López Montaño, “there are approximately 35,000 hectares (86,487 acres) of mango in Colombia distributed in 22 (of 32) departments, led by Cundinamarca outside of Bogotá, followed by Antioquia and Norte de Santander.”
“We have great expectations with the business of exporting mango to the United States, which begins this year. We believe that our fruit will be very well received in the North American market, and we see a lot of interest. We have a production projection for next year of approximately one thousand tons,” said Juan Felipe Peña, manager of Agricola Varahonda SA.
Headline photo: Mangos from Santa Fé de Antioquia, Colombia (photo © Loren Moss)