For the second consecutive year, Indian mangoes will be absent from US retail markets. First, the Covid-19 pandemic hampered exports last year. This year, the failure of the two governments to come up with a workable solution has put exports on hold.
For the second consecutive year, Indian mangoes will be absent from US retail markets. First, the Covid-19 pandemic hampered exports of Indian mangoes last year. This year, the failure of the two governments to come up with a workable solution has put exports on hold. This break in the market access for a country that has shown consistent growth over the past few years can have a lasting impact over the exports in the years to come.
Unlike in European Union, Indian mangoes gained access to US markets only after 2007. Exports remained subdued till 2011, after which there was good growth in exports of Indian mangoes. Consistent yearly growth helped exporters get greater access to US markets. Consignments to US have to undergo a process called irradiation, which involves exposing the fruit to rays of a weak radioactive element.
Kaushal Khakhar of Kay Bee Exports, said that in the case of US, diplomacy might not have worked to break the deadlock. While EU and US were coveted markets for Indian exporters, the latter was a growing market while the former had reached its peak, he said. “A sudden halt to a new market would surely raise questions about its sustainability,” he said.
The fact that Indian mangoes can’t be exported to the United States at this time is a huge problem, says Himant Chavda, Chairman for Indian exporter Krish International. Required inspections by a USDA-APHIS officer can’t take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’ve seen good demand from Europe and Canada compared to last year. We are very happy to see it, because they are now in better position to handle all potential crisis. They are doing very advanced planning for this year’s business. We are facing some problems with shipping out Indian mangoes to the United States, as they require irradiation treatment for mangoes in the presence of a USDA-APHIS officer. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic an officer is not able to come to India to conduct these checks. This hurts us a lot as a company, however both Governments are still negotiating and hopefully we will receive some good news on it later on.”
The Covid-19 pandemic is hitting especially hard in India at the moment, with the amount of corona cases explosively rising, but this should not have an effect on the mango season: “At the moment the Covid-19 situation in India is very bad, with the amount of cases increasing by a lot on a daily basis. However, the mango season should not be affected by this, as we learned so many things to ensure that business continues. We already have a very good setup when it comes to harvesting, packaging and logistics and will be able to maintain the Covid-19 protocol while working, so we’ll be able to supply our clients without any delay.”