UNIVEG UK has been developing the sourcing of speciality mangoes for its customers. These types of mango are often described as deeply fragrant and aromatic, typically possessing sweet, golden coloured flesh.
As part of this development the tropical team of Julie Criddle and Kathryn Vincent were asked by one of our retail customers to develop a supply source of Pakistani mangoes. The ultimate aim was to provide UK consumers with the opportunity to buy traditional mango varieties from Pakistan.
As a part of this programme UNIVEG UK Technical Manager David Maris visited the production regions and producers in Pakistan to get a better understanding of the production and local infrastructure. UNIVEG is working directly with two producer groups based in the southern Sindh and central Punjab regions. These regions offer mango availability from May through to Sept. The producer groups are the only GLOBALGAP certified mango growers within the country.
This season all fruit was airfreighted. In all, seven varieties were received this year and monitored for quality, eating characteristics and shelf life. The next stage is to develop sea freight opportunities for supply next season.
Mr Maris reported “I was impressed with the field production and quality of mangoes on the trees the production is extensive with a limited number of tall trees per hectare this is necessary to minimise the impact of cold temperatures. The fruit on the trees looked particularly clean and the open aspect of the tree canopy allowed very good ventilation minimising disease risk. The producers are progressive and enthusiastic to develop their export business. They have taken the opportunity of US Aid funding to invest in new packhouses with grading equipment and pre-cooling/cold storage facilities. The situation with road logistics and airport infrastructure does not allow the full utilisation of these facilities; the seafreight opportunity is seen as a significant step forward in managing the cool chain, offering longer shelf life and better quality of fruit”
As part of this process UNIVEG UK is working with their retail customer and producers to design a new carton format for next season.
Despite initial challenges the programme has been very successful for both the retailer and the producers with an impressive total of cartons delivered. UNIVEG UK will be looking to build on this success for next season”