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Our Mango Journey - from our farms to you here in Australia

It all began with a Breakfast Meeting hosted by the Australia Philippines Business Council (APBC). Alma Argayoso, the head of the Philippines Trade and Investment Centre in Sydney (PTIC), and Miguel Ripoll from FastboxPh were among those present. During the "Coffee Catch-Up" meeting, Alma emphasized the need to boost exports from the Philippines to Australia, highlighting the current trade imbalance where the Philippines imports more products than it exports to Australia.

In the weeks and months that followed, efforts were made to materialize this vision, starting with the focus on mangoes. While mangoes are readily available year-round in the Philippines, selecting the right "grade" for export posed a challenge. The search for suitable farms and regions commenced, with Joseph Bautista of Genco Fields & Vegetables playing a crucial role in identifying ideal areas in Davao del Sur.

Survey conducted throughout the month of August 2023, Davao del Sur

Local harvesters were mobilized to collect the mangoes, and despite a tight schedule, 2,500 kgs were harvested out of the planned 3,000 kgs. Recognizing the time constraint, the decision was made to proceed with what was available. The harvested mangoes were promptly air-freighted to Manila that night and delivered to Hi-Las Marketing Corporation for treatment and packaging, preparing them for export to Australia.

Joseph Bautista of GenCo fields with the locals harvesting the mangoes (Davao del Sur) 04 September 2023

The shipment was divided, with half of the mangoes heading to Perth and the other half to Sydney, marking a historic moment as Philippine Mangoes graced Australian shores after decades.

The first shipment provided valuable insights, revealing nuances in how the mangoes ripened in Australia and receiving feedback on some mangoes not meeting expectations. Reflections on the harvest and growth processes prompted to reevaluate their procedures, implementing measures to enhance the quality and ripening process from farming practices to transportation, handling, treatment, and packaging. Expectations are set for an improved product in the next shipment.

Nina Amores of Hi-Las Marketing looking over Department of Agriculture officials inspecting the mangoes.

Anticipated in the middle of Autumn in Australia and throughout the winter months, the next shipment will see expanding its presence by identifying additional outlets in other states, allowing more consumers to enjoy these premium mangoes.

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