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Colombian mangos arrive in US for the first time

Colombian Mangos Arrive in the US for the first time
Columbian Mangos: Photo courtesy of Seasons Farm Fresh

MIAMI, December 28 – Today, the first container of fresh Colombian mangos arrived in the United States at the port of Savannah, Georgia. From there, 20 tons of the fruit will be transferred to Gulf Port Mississippi to be distributed across the Southeast Coast of the United States.

After several years of negotiations between government entities in Colombia and the United States, in 2022, Colombian mangos entered the US market. Expectations for the mango sector in Colombia are high, given that the United States imported USD$ 552 million in 2021 and has registered a growth of fresh mango purchases of 29% from 2018 to 2021.

The articulated work of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, ICA, ProColombia, and the Embassy of Colombia in the United States paths the way to more admissibility of fresh fruit from Colombia into the United States market.

“The first export of fresh mango to the United States represents a great opportunity to consolidate the exportable supply of fresh fruit, generating formal employment and opportunities in rural areas in our country. We will continue working to promote national food production to achieve food sovereignty, and in this way achieve balance in trade matters,” said the Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, German Umaña Mendoza.

These mangos were grown at the Varahonda Farm in the municipality of Palmira and were packed at Frutales Las Lajas in Zarzal, in the department of Valle del Cauca. They are being exported by Trópico Produce SAS and imported by American company Seasons Farm Fresh Inc. BB #:297467

Columbian mangos arrive in US

The Varahonda Farm in Valle del Cauca generates formal employment for mothers responsible for their households. It also contributes to the economic and social development of the rural communities surrounding their crops in the country’s southwest.

The Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia, highlighted the tangible positive impact posed by these new businesses and said: “These are the real opportunities that a government of change, led by President Gustavo Petro, is generating, especially for communities no longer invisible in rural Colombia. We will continue working so that communities and minorities venture into foreign trade and are ready to sell their agricultural products in this, our main market. In this way, we will achieve that total peace that we long for in our country”.

The United States adds to the more than eight countries to which Colombian mangos are already being exported: Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, among others.

Colombia has production capacity for this product every month of the year. According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cecilia López Montaño, “there are approximately 35,000 hectares of mangos in Colombia distributed in 22 departments, of which Cundinamarca is the largest producer, followed by Antioquia and Norte de Santander”.

For his part, Nick Bernal, CEO of the American Importer Seasons Farm Fresh Inc., believes Colombian mango will start playing a competitive role within the market in the upcoming months. “We know that mango consumption in the US is very high, and Colombia, besides having many logistical advantages, such as several ports across the territory in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic, as well as a strategic geographical location close to the US, has one additional asset: it can produce mangos all year long,” he said. “We began by importing in this shipment Keitt mangos, but soon, we also expect to bring baby mangos, which could become highly popular amongst the American’s palates.”, Bernal added.

Among mango varieties, Colombia produces several of them, the most important: Hilacha (39%), Tommy (20%), Keitt (10%), Yulima (10%), and baby mango (5%).

“This is great news for Colombian mango exporters, as this product has been growing significantly in its exports and is now entering a market that offers multiple business opportunities. The international success of the fruit will undoubtedly bring development to different regions of the country and contribute to the construction of Total Peace within our territories,” said Carmen Caballero, president of ProColombia, the agency part of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, in charge of promoting non-mining exports internationally.

This shipment is a sign of the achievements that Colombia has made in the diversification of its agricultural offer. As a matter of fact, with mango, Colombia completes 108 fresh agricultural products with the green light to enter the US. Among others are bell peppers, Hass avocados, goldenberries, blueberries, tangerines, oranges, pineapples, Tahiti lemons, aromatic herbs, and paprika.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism, together with ProColombia and other national institutions, will also continue to work on gaining access to other agricultural goods such as passion fruits (gulupa, granadilla, yellow passion fruit, and curuba), beef and poultry.