KARACHI: Pakistan has started commercial exports of mangoes to the US – the world’s biggest and arguably the most lucrative market of mangoes.
The first consignment of 2.9 tons has already been sold out just within a few hours of reaching stores in Houston and Dallas – the two US cities with a considerable Pakistani Diaspora – while another shipment of six tons is going to be airlifted this week. After covering Houston and Dallas, their next consignment will be directed to New York – the biggest concentration of Pakistani community in the US.
The company behind all this is not a renowned one. In fact, its owners are exporting mangoes to the US for the first time and they have completed all the necessary arrangements – from US import permit certificate to the shipment – within three months.
“It all started when a Pakistani American told my partner three months ago that the Pakistani community wants to taste Pakistani mangoes. And, that he should do something,” Farm House Export Director Naveed Nadir told The Express Tribune in an interview. “My partner and I took it as a challenge and we finally succeeded in our goal.”
“I think in the past Pakistani exporters did not pursue the right channels to reduce the export costs, which is why no Pakistani exporter succeeded in exporting mangoes to the US markets,” said Nadir. The two partners said that they wanted to bring in the best taste of Pakistan mangoes to their customers in the US. “One of the reasons why we have made mango exports feasible in the US is our route through which we are completing the necessary irradiation process in Houston.
“Our cost of irradiation in Houston is just 50 cents per kg compared to the other irradiation facility in Chicago whose price is $5 per kg,” he added.
Food irradiation is a promising food safety technology that eliminates disease-causing germs from foods. Since the US authorities want to complete the irradiation process at its facilities, many Pakistani exporters get discouraged in exporting to the US. “We have completed all the safety requirements of the US authorities so we are sure if anyone comply all the required packaging requirement, he or she can also export mangoes to the US,” he said.
According to Nadir, the retail price of his 2.5kg mango pack is $25, which is reasonable compared to Indian mangoes available in the market. The retail price of Indian Kesar is $30 per a 3kg pack while the world-renowned Alphonso mangoes are available in $35 per 3kg pack.
Currently, Mexican and other South American mango varieties are widely imported in the United States, along with Indian and Australian mangoes. It is for the first time that Pakistan has got an opportunity to supply the country’s mango to the US market.
The USA remains the most important destination for mango exporters, having an annual demand of 200,000 tons.
Farm House Export wants to export over 100 tons of mangoes to the US in this season.