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Gratitude for Blooms

November 22, 2023

A Thanksgiving Mexican mango crop update & overview

The upcoming two months hold significant importance in relation to weather conditions and their impact on the early Mexican mango crop in Oaxaca and Chiapas. These months will greatly influence our final crop expectations and overall outlook. It is currently too early to make definitive predictions. However, during the two months preceding fruit bloom, set and formation (as discussed in a previous post “MANGO BLOOMS WOW” also available visually on YouTube), our focus intensifies. This period is vital for closely monitoring weather patterns, orchard health, and other developments, marking the initial steps in formulating a clearer understanding of the upcoming season.

In terms of what is happening now on the ground in Oaxaca, the first region for harvest, there have been notable instances of heavy rains. While not entirely abnormal, these downpours, if sufficiently intense, can strip off blossoms and damage newly forming fruit. This phenomenon has been observed, particularly in the local mango crops grown in the state of Guerrero where most the earliest fruit was destroyed by Hurricane Otis.

In Oaxaca heavy rain has also led to issues such as bloom loss and damage to early-forming fruit. These effects are anticipated to impact the earliest fruit yields, resulting in smaller quantities. Compounding the problem, the rains have induced a pause in bloom, affecting the ongoing flowering in some orchards. This is expected to create gaps in fruit production, varying by orchard, particularly for the earliest fruit expected in late January and early February. Having a significant volume or orchards, like EL Grupo Crespo has, will be pivotal to exporter success in the early season.

The outlook for February and March fruit will be contingent on the extent of bloom and fruit formation in the coming weeks. By early December, more information will be available to provide a clearer picture of the initial months of the Mexican mango season. It’s crucial to note that weather patterns, especially in early January, can play a crucial role and change everything quickly.  Until we actually butt up closer to harvest we just never know. Climate change is so powerful these days and makes crop predictions very difficult.

I  do find it particularly valuable at this two-month threshold to not just offer a current crop status update, focusing on the present early-stage developments, general weather conditions, and initial conjectures based on the available information coming direct from the orchards, but to provide a general comprehensive reminder and review of the early Mexican regions general characteristics.

Important insights like when the season typically begins, the initial varieties, their geographical locations, and the overall progression pattern. Such detailed information helps all of us better plan and manage expectations as we navigate the upcoming season.

The Oaxacan season typically begins in late January, with Chiapas following suit in early February; both regions usually extend their seasons until late April. It’s essential to note that both organic and conventional fruit kick off simultaneously, challenging past perceptions that conventional starts first. Organic and conventional orchards produce on the same timeframe, conventional volumes often surpass organic ones. Packhouses dealing with substantial conventional volumes tend to open earlier due to the larger quantities. El Grupo Crespo ships organic fruit right from the season’s onset. Our packhouses handle large volumes of both conventional and organic mangoes allowing us to ship both on the same trucks and initiating both organic and conventional seasons at Mexico’s season onset.

The Ataulfo mangoes start first, generally in late January.   Round mangoes typically begin about three weeks to a month later. When the Mexican mango season starts, its only Ataulfos. A critical piece of information in the Ataulfo early scene is that some exporters begin harvest too early, often starting  a week or two earlier than us. This is a bad practice, resulting in Ataulfos in retail that are immature and too green, lacking the full potential to ripen properly or hit optimal sweetness. In contrast we avoid such practices. Ataulfos, unlike round mangoes, are bitter when green, and consumers, especially first-time Ataulfo eaters trying green Ataulfos, may be deterred from making future purchases. Given our substantial Ataulfo program, we see how important the begging is and are committed to delivering fully ripe and sweet Ataulfos without compromising on quality. It is an incredibly long season, so starting off well makes a lot of difference.

Round mangoes typically commence their season in early March, with production gaining momentum towards the end of the month. However, there are micro-regions, particularly in Chiapas, where early fruit is present. In these regions, we have several orchards dedicated to early crops, and we anticipate having a limited supply of fruit as early as February.

It’s important to note that start dates can vary by a week or two depending on weather conditions. When referencing start dates, clarity is crucial, similar to time zones. If the start date pertains to the orchard or packhouse level, an additional week should be factored in. This accounts for the time it takes to ship and cross the US border, considering the approximately 2700-mile journey. Replenishing supplies in the early part of the season is a delicate process, requiring not only significant volumes of fruit but also a robust Mexican logistics approach.

The initiation of the Mexican season is often challenging due to the initial scarcity of fruit. It takes time for large portions of orchards to commence production and fill the Mexican pipeline. This season’s start in Mexico will begin with a pipeline that is notably empty, exacerbated by Peruvian organic imports being 60-70% less than the usual volume.

Remember everything can change between now and the start!

Featured, News, Secrets & Lies

Hold On Just a Bit……and Then Let Loose

March 28, 2023

Round fruit inflexible for as lower yields and high demand wreak havoc 

When I was a little girl in southern California I used to race my bother on this little honda 50 on my pony Cricket. We would race down this long ass trail next to a creek with all kinds of bends and bumps and even oak branches in our way slapping our faces. Cricket was a fast little pony but in the beginning I used to lose all the time until I learned that I had to hold Cricket’s reins back a little bit on some of the worst turns and bends and bumpy areas; after I learned that move we beat my brother Axel’s ass every time!

These next two weeks are like the bendy turns that Cricket and I learned to race through.

Organic round mango fruit volume will be incredibly inflexible the next 2 weeks followed by a big loosening. This is a tough position, but one that we will transcend and soon forget once normal #MuchosMangoes quantities resume before your tulips bloom.

Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, News

A “Big” Crop Report

March 10, 2023

The lack of small fruit is real and size Up-ortunities are too!

There is a significant and serious lack of small fruit coming out of mango orchards in the south (Chiapas & Oaxaca) right now. As a result, there is a lot of confusion and panic in the market. This is mostly because pricing remains higher than average and bigger fruit and higher prices mean more expensive pieces of fruit.

We’ve received new intel, including photos and video from our Crespo boots on the ground or in this case Roberto Crespo. His information has been coming in the last several weeks as we’ve been trying to better access the small fruit situation. It’s been coordinated and agreed upon by all Crespo’s as well as several other large and medium sized conventional and organic producers in the south. It all true, the small fruit shortage!

Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, News

Empaque Don Jorge II Open for the Season in Chiapas

January 14, 2023

Plus, an additional NEW packhouse,  Bola de Oro opens in Oaxaca

Back in 2019, just prior to the mango season, El Grupo Crespo opened Empaque Don Jorge II (EDJII) in Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas, or – as the locals call it – Coita. It was the Crespo family’s second proprietary mango packhouse, plus several hundred supporting hectares of organic mango orchards. The expanded mango volumes and increased packing outputs allowed the family business to expand and grow. This season El Grupo starts their 2023 mango programs with even more volume, more capacity and more varietals. It’s exciting for me to witness their growth and see the family rewarded with recognition from the industry, retailers, wholesalers and processors.

Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, News

Early Rain Damage & Lots of Optimism

December 21, 2022

It’s beginning to look at lot like a prosperous Mexican Mango Season

 It’s that time of the year again when you all forget about fruits and vegetables amidst all the holiday hubbub, and also the time of the year when I begin thinking excessively about mangoes as we begin to prepare for the upcoming Mexican Mango Season!

I’m not going to lie, I get giddy with anticipation of all the mangoes to come, usually cooking up something mango-centric to ring in the holiday season. This year it was my Mango Pork Mole & Christmas Tamales and a very special Mexican Mezcal Pechuga Mango Milk Punch. My excitement for mangoes had already been  jostled more than normal for this time of year since fresh back from a recent trip to Egypt where I had been pleasantly surprised by all the mangoes.

Continue Reading…

Featured, News

Empaque Don Jorge II Opens for the 2022 Season

January 24, 2022

Packing Crespo Organic Ataulfo & Tommy Atkins Mangoes!

Ocozocoautla de Espinosa (Coita), Chiapas, Mexico

 In 2019, just prior to the mango season, El Grupo Crespo opened Empaque Don Jorge II (EDJ II) in Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas, or – as the locals call it – Coita. As the Crespo family’s second proprietary mango pack house moves into it’s 4th season with efficiency and expertise and begins packing mangoes along side our partner packhouse in Oaxaca, it does so with expanded organic  mango volumes and increased packing outputs.

EDJ II is not to be confused with Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) –  El Grupo Crespo’s original and main packhouse located in El Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico. EDJ I’s  was revamped and modernized several years ago, making it Latin America’s largest and most advanced hydrothermal mango packhouse. EDJ II is smaller but equally powerful and is expecting it’s own enlargement and modernization in the seasons ahead.

Continue Reading…

Featured, News

2022 Crespo Organic Season Starts!

January 11, 2022

We’ve got good news and who doesn’t love that these days!


Before the new year I gave you my big juicy predications for the 2022 Crespo Organic Mango season and so far things are ringing true. In a string of years where everything is extraordinarily complicated, this feels really good. I know challenges are a normal part of the business but  I believe in pointing out  and celebrating when the good things happen too. This is one of those rare GOOD news flashes.

Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, News

Season Predictions Are In

December 14, 2020

Cautiously optimistic early Mexican season start forecasted in Oaxaca & Chiapas

 First, I want to apologize for the lack of news from Under the Mango Tree. I should have been reporting consistently during the off-season (for Ecuador and Peru), considering we are all in this mango thing together. Back in early November, I should have alerted you to the start of Mexican bloomage in the southern regions, but I have been busy uprooting my California life for a new life on a lake in the Ozarks in southern Missouri. (Read more here about what that means for the Crespo Organic Kitchen. In short, it means bringing more mango joy to the Midwest.) A big move like this – especially in the middle of a pandemic – takes time and comes with its hybrid set of hurdles, including both the normal and the pandemic kinds. I just didn’t have the bandwidth, but I’m moving through the obstacles. Continue Reading…

Culture, Farm, Featured, News

Empaque Don Jorge II Opens for the Season

February 26, 2020

Ocozocoautla de Espinosa (Coita), Chiapas, Mexico

Last February, El Grupo Crespo opened Empaque Don Jorge II (EDJ II) in Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas, or – as the locals call it – Coita. 

 This is not to be confused with Empaque Don Jorge (EDJI) –  El Grupo Crespo’s original and main packhouse located in El Rosario, Sinaloa, Mexico. EDJ I’s total remodel finished last year, making it Latin America’s largest hydrothermal mango packhouse.

Continue Reading…

Farm, Featured, News

Mexican Mango Season Opens….

January 29, 2020

Everybody’s favorite mango varietal- the Ataulfo, up first

Mexican mango season always opens with small volumes, and this season’s start promises much of the same. Cooperating weather has given way to an “on-time” start with the expected minimal volumes of organic Ataulfos. Growers expect fruit to arrive on US soil around the first ten days of February.

The season generally begins in late January and runs through mid-September. The southern regions of Oaxaca and Chiapas are always first to begin. From there, the season moves north approximately every three to four months as warmer weather travels up Mexico, through Michoacán, Nayarit, and Sinaloa. Several regions eventually overlap, creating many peaks in production. Continue Reading…