Sleuthing through the noise north and south of the border
The truth is not always easy to find. It’s much like self-awareness. You have to have a great deal of will to find it. The current mango market is a strange one that has a lot of folks asking questions about what’s currently happening and what’s next.
In addition to produce being fickle in general, global warming has made forecasting difficult and unpredictable. Making matters worse, the industry is getting ultra-competitive with skinnier profit margins and higher operating costs. Mangoes -all the while- are a booming business. American consumers increasingly clamor for this sweet fruit, and there is little demand slowdown in sight. To-the-minute information is almost impossible to get right and those able to provide it often feel like they’re yielding what little power they have left by sharing it.
It’s a funny (funny weird, not funny ha ha) time to report on copious amounts of mangoes. Supply on the round mangoes has taken an abrupt turn this week as Peru’s volume of Kents finally came to a halt and as Mexican Tommy Atkins are still just drizzling out of the orchards. Shortage is the main talk of the mango town. ………BUT.
The business of growing food for the American and Canadian markets in Mexico can often seem, and often times is, a strain on the environment. Regardless of whether your climate change viewpoints fall right, left or center, we could all agree that the unpredictable nature of weather affects us all. As more and more people around the globe lean more towards believing in climate change, more resources are shifted into its science and studies, and with that comes not only solutions but simple information that can sometimes surprise us all.
New studies are continuing to emerge leading to conclusions that mango orchards can help mitigate climate change.
Weeks 8-12 are the problem. Last Friday there was an early morning surge of mango chatter amongst industry folks. A handful of the bigger conventional players released a series of statements —more like warnings, in the form of internal and external emails, the subject being massive shortages of round mangoes as the Peruvian season winds down and transitions into Mexican and Central American fruit.
Mexico revs up mango engines with Ataulfos to start the season
Most packing sheds are currently opened, opening or will be opening in the next few weeks in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
Ataulfos are on track to start first – some growers have started picking and others will start picking next week and, in the weeks, to follow. Ideally growers should be particular in the pack out as its been reported by several growers – we included- that because of heavy rains during December when fruit formation was taking place, much of the onset fruit may not be of the highest quality (on the outside). Some growers, like us, are opting to have more patience as the fruit behind the onset fruit is showing much better quality. Being particular in terms of pack out vs, the pack everything methodology that often occurs with the opening of the season, has proven to be more successful for our rather large Ataulfo program that lasts through August, typically.
A new, cleverly named, pack house springs up to help
Update 2/25: We are a little behind schedule about a week and the packing house is now set to open around the 8th of March, get inspected start packing Crespo mangoes by the 15-20th! Check out the new updated photos of the packing shed at the very bottom of this post!
Our direct trade modelof doing business has enabled us to re-invest in our farm, business and operations despite the dwindling margins seen in mangoes. The elimination of extra hands allows for a little room to aspire to succeed and we take this penny-pinching process seriously, In the last few years we have honed in on some important needs as our system grows. Improvements to our pack house Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) , in Sinaloa was one of them. Increasing volume capacity in the southern early regions was another, which is this season big undertaking; a new mango pack house for El Grupo Crespo, Empaque Don Jorge II.
Much needed water pours down on the mangoes despite the ensuing chaos
The hurricane, which gained massive, unforeseen, rapid strength, morphing into a Category 5 storm, with wind gusts exceeding 160 mph, was projected to be one of the most powerful storms to hit the Mexican Pacific coast. Eventually, just before making landfall, the storm weakened- slightly- into a (still extremely dangerous) Category 4 storm, and upon landfall a powerful Category 3 hurricane, arriving near the Isla De Bosque, Sinaloa, Mexico which is about an hour and half south of Mazatlán and about 45 minutes south west of El Rosario, where Crespo Organic’smain Mexican offices and our main pack house Empaque don Jorge, live.
If the Mexican organic mango season can give us insight into the approaching Ecuadorian and Peruvian seasons, it’s that increasingly unpredictable weather patterns complicate predictions; especially in the midst of burgeoning mango markets that continue to ripen as global consumers gravitate towards fresh mangoes and organics, at a rate that has proven difficult for organic growers to keep up with, consistently. Continue Reading…
Season predictions have become challenging as “typical” Mexican mango seasons become tenuous. Erratic weather is the new norm and difficult to gauge weather patterns significantly impede forecasting ability. Making this particular season even more challenging to foretell is the ceaseless organic demand, which many buyers describe to be moving at an overwhelming pace, despite most producers reporting slightly higher than normal season to date volume outputs in organics.
Tricky transitioning of regions in Mexican mango season- south to north
The Mexican mango season lasts for about nine months and is made up of 7 different regions, eight if you separate Los Mochis, as most do. Los Mochis is USDA sanctioned “fruit fly free zone” and therefore the hot water baths (hydro-thermic treatment) is not necessary making the Los Mochis region unique in the Mexican mango spectrum.
Under The Mango Tree is a sweet spot, where I, a long time mango industry crackerjack, share everything I know. A place to find mango centric, agricultural, food and culture knowledge and a few juicy industry secrets and lies.