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Guatemala's mango, committed to commercial diversification in a sustained manner

Eddy Martínez, manager of Distribuidora de Frutas Tropicales, Agroindustrias del Tropico and Fresh and Frozen Foods, as well as president of the Research and Industry Relations Committee of the NMB talks about the situation of the crop.

12/16/2020

Handling of mangoes from Guatemala.

The important work that the National Mango Board has developed to increase the consumption of mangoes in the United States is, without a doubt, the main driving force in the interview with Agronomist Eddy Martínez, Founding Partner and current General Manager in Guatemala of the companies : Distribuidora de Frutas Tropicales SA (DFT) and Agroindustrias del Tropico S.A. (AGROTROPIC), as well as Fresh and Frozen Foods S.A. (frozen products), and is currently the chair of the NMB Industry Relations and Research Committee.

Engineer Eddy Martínez has highlighted that “I consider the work of the National Mango Board to be very important and of great impact for the mango industry in the American continent. We have seen how per capita consumption of mango in the US has doubled in the last 15 years and I am sure that in the next ten years consumption will double again”.

The National Mango Board: A "great added value" for the sector

The National Mango Board is, in the opinion of Engineer Eddy Martínez, a “great added value” for the mango industry. In this sense, our interviewee points out that “the NMB is a very important organization for our sector, since very important research works have been carried out on issues related to nutrition and health, with prestigious universities in the USA. carried out very important investigations to solve some problems with the post-harvest handling of the mango, this has directly benefited the producers in the field ”.

In addition, Engineer Eddy Martínez also points out that "most of the members of the mango industry have a positive opinion of the work that the NMB is developing because the results are clear, the consumption of mangoes has grown".

Mango in Guatemala

Regarding the situation of the mango sector in Guatemala, Engineer Martínez indicates that “the mango industry in Guatemala had an annual growth of 10% in new planting areas. We currently have about 5,000 hectares planted with mango for export and local market. During the last 3 to 4 years this growth has stagnated mainly due to the decrease in the harvest due to the effects of climate change in the main producing areas of the country. More than 50% of the area planted with mango does not have irrigation. This has discouraged some producers to continue growing, however, this problem has also motivated us and forced us to improve the agronomic management of the orchards, mainly with the implementation of drip irrigation and micro-sprinkler systems. All this will improve the productivity and profitability of the crop ”.

Effects of COVID 19 on Guatemalan mangoes

Regarding the effects of COVID 19 on Guatemalan mangoes, “at the beginning of the harvest during the first days of March until mid-April, we had a very strong negative impact as sales and exports were reduced due to the closure of some businesses and the confinement of a large part of the US population that initially reduced consumption in general. We were not prepared to face this challenge, fortunately the sales and shipments from our packing plants began to improve from the first week of April and during the month of May, but the harvest was already ending ”.

Diversified international dimension

Regarding the international dimension of mango from Guatemala, our respondent indicates that “due to our geographical position and proximity to the market, Guatemala exports more than 80% of its mango production to the US We also export to Holland, Spain, England and France. Three years ago the government of Chile approved the protocol for the export of mango from Guatemala to that country, a market in which we have high expectations since the consumption of fresh mango is growing in Chile and the most important thing is that the mango from Guatemala can to enter that market in a very important window that Peru leaves and that ends its harvest just when in Guatemala we are beginning the mango harvest ”.

Lines of action in research of the NMB

In the chapter on lines of action in the research area of ​​the National Mango Board, Engineer Eddy Martínez comments that “I consider that it is very important to continue with the research work related to the effect of mango consumption on nutrition and health. Well, very important results are being found that, after validation by the official entity, could give more impetus to mango consumption ”.

In addition, he emphasizes that “it is also important to continue developing research work aimed at achieving one of the five strategic pillars of the NMB that refers to the supply of high quality and tasty mangoes for the consumer. This should be done by supporting producer and exporter organizations of mango from the origin so that the distributors and the final consumer receive a high quality product ”.

Mango growth in the United States

Asked about the growth of mango consumption in the US market, Engineer Eddy Martínez states forcefully that “despite the effects of COVID 19, I am sure that mango consumption will continue to grow in the US, since it is a delicious and very nutritious fruit. There is still a high percentage of the population that have not tried mango and with the good work that is being done in the research and marketing area of ​​the NMB, we will achieve greater market penetration and good market penetration in the short and medium term. positioning of this fruit with consumers.

Great commitment of the NMB Human Team

Regarding the qualities of the human team of the National Mango Board, our conference member points out that “both the staff and the members of the council of the NMB, I consider that there is a good work team and professionals very committed to the mission, vision and strategic objectives of this organization. The results are in sight and can be quantified: Mango consumption in the US is growing every year

Challenges

Regarding the challenges of mango consumption in the United States, Engineer Eddy Martínez highlights that “the fruit consumer in any part of the world is very demanding with the quality and flavor of the product. I consider that in the short term one of the main challenges and challenges to overcome is to improve the internal and external quality, as well as the shelf life of the mango. In the medium term, the main challenge and challenge will be to position the mango among the top ten fruits that the consumer has in mind for purchase in supermarket chains and online stores ”.

Future of mango production and marketing

Regarding the future of mango consumption in the United States, Engineer Eddy Martínez emphasizes that “with the work being done by the NMB, I see a positive impact on the fresh mango industry, with a sustained growth in consumption in the next years. The future of mango production is aimed at increasing planting areas in the main producing and exporting countries. The future of mango marketing is directed to digital marketing and online sales ”.

In addition, he adds that “as a member of the NMB and as a producer and exporter of fresh and frozen mango, I want to comment that it is a pity that most of the members of the frozen mango industry have not visualized the positive impact that a unified industry, since there are still many challenges and challenges to overcome, mainly in convincing the consumer that there are other delicious and nutritious mango varieties that are available throughout the year in the different producing countries. This would make it possible to have a greater volume of frozen mango available to meet demand and would probably reduce the storage costs that currently implies having and marketing a single variety whose production window is very limited.


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