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Decks cleared for export of Indian mangoes to Australia

April 24, 2017 13:57 IST

For the first time, India may export mangoes to Australia that meet biosecurity standards of the country after Canberra revised phyto-sanitary protocols for the ‘king of fruits’.

Robert Gray, chief executive of Australian Mango Industry Association, said Indian mangoes would be for sale outside of the Australian mango season.

However, the fruit has to meet biosecurity standards including irradiation before they are exported, he said.

The phyto-sanitary (related with plants) norms requires irradiation treatment and inspection prior to the shipment.

"Our position is that, as part of the global trade, if we want access to other countries around the world [to export Australian mangoes], then providing the protocol is safe and not bringing in any pests or diseases, then we're supportive of other countries having access into our market," he said, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Mexico, the Philippines and Pakistan have previously exported mangoes to Australia over the years.

He said India had started exporting mangoes to the US as well, but it was hard to know what type of volumes would be sent to Australia.

"While India is a huge mango-growing country, their export business is a bit like ours," he said.

"[India will be] targeting affluent markets, markets where they can place small quantities of very high-value product," Gray said.

The report quoted Kaushal Khakhar, chief executive of Kay Bee Exports, as saying that all shipments to Australia would be sent by air, and the company would initially focus on exporting the Alphonso and Kesar varieties of mango.

"Alphonso is slightly tricky but handled well it is one of the best varieties in India," he said.

"Kesar is the best commercial variety because it has a good price, good flavour, and it handles very well," Khakhar said.

He said the opportunity to export mangoes to Australia first opened up several years ago, but the revised protocol has made it a more viable option.

Indian mango exports are likely to surpass last year's level and touch the 50,000-tonne mark in the ongoing fiscal, buoyed by strong demand and supply of export quality fruit, India's Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority had earlier said. 

Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters.

Natasha Chaku in Melbourne
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