Mango NOTES by FJuoQlr


									Mexico Organic Mango Commodity Chain based on Hummingbird Wholesale mangos.

      Production
                  Worldwide/General USA
          o Worldwide, developing countries produce vast majority of mangos.
          o Only ~2% of mango produced is exported. Majority is consumed in-
             country in local markets or by the farmer.
          o Increased worldwide consumption has lead to increased competition
             among exporter countries.
          o Demand for mango is the USA is increasing 15-20% annually.
          o There is a general trend in Latin American countries to switch production
             from general commodity products consumed by the national majority to
             specialized items that are sold to a few wealthy elite, both nationally and
             internationally. Mangos, which are increasingly grown for export are a
             perfect example of this. Especially dried mango which is rarely consumed
             in-country. It is almost exclusively exported.
                  Mexico Specific
          o Mexico is the 4th largest grower in the world produced 1,503,010 tons,
             behind India, China and Thailand.
          o They are the largest world exporter of mango with 21% of the world
             market, in 2004.
          o The biggest market for Mexican mango is the United States. 57% of
             imported mango in the US in 2004 was from Mexico.
          o Today, 26 of Mexico’s 32 states cultivate mango, with a concentration
             along the gulf of Mexico. The state of Sinaloa is the biggest exporter.
          o There are two different types of producers of organic agriculture in
             Mexico - small and large scale. Indigenous smallholders of southern
             Mexico undertake a low-input, process-oriented organic farming in which
             certification is based upon extensive document review, group inspections,
             and assessment of on-farm capacity to produce organic inputs. More
             recently, northern Mexican large agribusiness producers have
             implemented certifications based upon laboratory testing and assessment
             of purchased inputs. After comparing the organic cultivation and
             certification practices of large, agro-industrial, input-oriented private firms
             versus small, cooperatively organized, indigenous and peasant groups,
             researchers argue that the increasing bureaucratic requirements of
             international organic certification privilege large farmers and agribusiness-
             style organic cultivation.
          o While organic and fair trade agriculture has been thought of as an income-
             generating production strategy for small producers of Mexico, studies are
             suggesting that Mexican organic agriculture reproduces existing social
             inequalities between large and small producers in conventional Mexican
          o Hummingbird Wholesale mango is grown in El Rosario, Sinaloa,
             Tapachula, Chiapis & Vera Cruz.
          o Mexican mango farmers, or Mangueros, tend to be educated.
       o The American distributor, Fine Dried Foods Int'l Inc. in Santa Cruz puts
         together an organic project and develops contracts with Mexican farmers.
         They then buy all the mangos produced on these farms and use it all for
         dried mango. None is used for fresh export.
       o Farmers contracted through Fine Dried Foods Int'l Inc. have farms that
         range from 1 acre to 100 acres.
       o As required by the USDA, all export farmers are members of EMEX –
         Empacadores de Mango de Exportacion – a private institution of mango
       o Until recently only four cultivars, developed by US scientists, were
         exportable to US – Haden, Kent, Tommy Atkins and Keitt. This allowed
         for intense control over Mexican growers and mango production.
       o Farms are inspected by USDA for fruit flies. Every orchard is required to
         have fruit fly traps as a measure of infestation.
       o All trees in orchards must be registered and identified. Failure to do so
         results in the USDA disqualifying the entire orchard.
       o USDA inspectors have increased to around 60 individuals. All are
         Mexican nationals.
       o All stages of production must first pass FDA standards before passing
         USDA standards.

   Organic Certification

       o As the demand for certified organic produce grows, so do the number of
         certifying organizations. The most common and quickest growing are third
         party organizations who are working to establish and verify standards and
         procedures. However, as the business grows, the amount of state oversight
         is increasing. This is changing the commodity chain power-relationship
         from one of proximate exchanges and tight social ties to one in which the
         buyer has increasing control, vertically integrating the supply chain and
         undermining the small producers.
       o Hummingbird Wholesale mangos are CCOF certified (see website on
         becoming certified:
       o Certification standards prohibit the use of most conventional pesticides,
         fertilizers that use sewage or synthetic ingredients, bioengineering,
         ionizing radiation.
       o Before receiving certification, farms are inspected by a USDA accredited
         certifier. All companies handling the dried mango must be certified as
       o Rising competition and falling organic price premiums are undermining
         the profitability of organic exports given relatively high cultivation costs
         and the expenses of certification itself.
       o Quality expectations have risen dramatically in all major organic
         commodity areas in recent years. Where organic product quality was
         initially defined largely in relation to social and ecological features,
         quality is increasingly defined by industrial and market conventions.
        o As organic commodities become more mainstream, they are shaped
          increasingly by mainstream market pressures. Dried mango escapes this
          problem to a certain degree because of the fact that the fruit is processed in
          Mexico and the physical quality of the mango is less visible to the
          Northern consumer.

   Growing Conditions
       o Can be grown in wide range of soils.
       o Well-drained soils result in best production so a slight slope is beneficial
          to prevent waterlogging.
       o Deep soils that lack impermeable layers foster root growth that aids in
          drought tolerance and wind resistance.
       o Can grow from sea level to about 1,500 ft.
       o Very humid and moist conditions results in higher frequency of
          Anthracnose disease which destroys flowers and developing fruits.
       o Dry weather during the flowering period results in best fruit production.
       o FDA requires certification of clean water sources, single crop production,
          weed free and clean fields, no animal and portable sanitary facilities.

   Harvest
       o Mango trees can be productive for 40 years.
       o Fruit matures after three to five months after flowering.
       o Fruit is picked after turning red, orange, or yellow, depending on the
          variety. If pickers wait till ripe, the fruit is too easily bruised, and will fall
          off the tree, further bruising and destroying the fruit.
       o Fruit will continue to ripen after being picked if kept at room temperature.
       o Can be refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.
       o Mexico has a wide diversity in climates and can produce mangoes in a
          large season. Harvest of fruit for exports begins on late January or early
          February and ends on late September.
       o Harvesting is done primarily by men who tend to be less educated.
       o One of the advantages seen for small scale farming is the ability to use
          unpaid family labor. This helps meet the high labor demands of organic

   Post Harvest/Drying
       o Processing and packing houses are inspected by mango deputies, Mexican
          nationals earning about $12 dollars an hour. Their salaries are paid by
          packing sheds. Deputies have the power to stop the production process at
          any stage.
       o Food safety certification is required in all packing plants – all machinery,
          floors, personnel and garbage disposal must meet USDA and FDA
          standards. Rotating cleaning crews are hired to maintain standards. Failure
          to meet standards results in the closing of the plant.
       o After the fruit has been harvested, it is scrubbed to remove the dust and
          natural latex for the field. It is inspected and then undergoes a hot water
           treatment to kill off fruit flies eggs and larva. Fruit is submerged in warm
           water (115 degrees) for between 75 – 90 minutes.
       o   Hummingbird Wholesale mangos are hand-cut in factories. Work is done
           primarily by women. There is a wide range in level of education from
           uneducated to highly educated.
       o   Mangos are dried in Mexico since it reduces costs in transportation and
       o   A low temperature drying method is used that takes 4 times as long as
           other methods but results in a higher quality product.
       o   Osmotic dehydration is becoming more popular as a complementary
           treatment. It minimizing heat damage to the color and flavor. The
           inhibition enzymatic browning reduces the need for sulphite. This reduces
           energy costs.

   Export
       o Domestic consumption represents approximately 88% and almost 12% is
          sent to foreign markets.
       o The exporting industry is grouped in Empacadoras de Mango de
          Exportacion, A.C. which is the liaison with Mexican and Foreign
          Authorities to carry out quarantine measures. EMEX has set its own
          quality fruit standards, based on research, education and training to
          improve the image of quality for Mexican mangoes.
       o Dried mango is transported by Mexican workers in trucks from various
          locations in Mexico across the border near San Diego. The shipments are
          then transferred to American trucks and driven to warehouse in Santa
       o They are then distributed to wholesalers like Hummingbird Wholesale.
       o Hummingbird wholesale is a full service wholesale distributing company
          based out of Eugene, Oregon that supplies organic foods to natural food
          stores along the west coast.
       o Dried organic mango is sold from co-ops and other whole food stores that
          have bulk bins (i.e. Market of Choice, Food Front, New Seasons, Whole
          foods). The typical price is between $9-11 per pound.

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