Harry Bruce's take on the upcoming mango season. Today's Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class.
Harry Bruce's take on the upcoming mango season. Today's Harry Bruce cartoon has been brought to you by Dawson MP George Christensen. George is a proud supporter of free speech and the ability of our cartoonists to take the mickey out of the political class.

Signature Bowen mango just weeks away from shelves

THE Australian Mango Industry Association declared this year's mango season open in early October with Australians set to indulge in nearly 200 million mangoes.

However, Bowen mango farmer and AMIA deputy chair Ben Martin said it would still be a few weeks before mangoes from Bowen and the Burdekin would start appearing on supermarket shelves.

Closed borders mean the season may look quite different this year with minimal shipments going overseas.

To help stem the losses of international exports, the Federal Government set up the International Freight Assistance Mechanism to help restore critical global supply chains.

The temporary scheme gives producers of high-value agricultural products the opportunity to continue sending produce overseas.

Deputy Chair of the Australian Mango Industry Association Ben Martin of Marto's Mangos. Picture: File
Deputy Chair of the Australian Mango Industry Association Ben Martin of Marto's Mangos. Picture: File

However, Mr Martin said the program would not significantly ease the burden for exporters.

"As far as the exports go there's not really much you can do," he said.

"Even with the Federal Government support for the IFAM project, the cost of getting fruit over some of the countries is just going to price you completely from the market."

Mr Martin said international exports made up about 11 per cent of the mango sales in the region but that did not necessarily mean there would be more mangoes for Australians.

The Northern Territory, which typically grows about 52 per cent of the national crop, is projected to have a smaller than expected year.

It meant mangoes that would normally be exported would instead be headed for the domestic market.

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Mr Martin said the industry may also experience labour shortages with fewer backpackers in the country.

However, as the picking season for smaller crops like tomatoes and capsicums came to an end, he hoped the region could transition workers to mango picking.

The mangoes rolling out of Marto's Mango farm would also be all the more sweet thanks to new Australia-first quality control technology.

The farm was awarded a $250,000 grant in May for more advanced technology to determine the maturity of every single mango and check for internal imperfections, without having to sacrifice any fruit.

"For fruit quality it's going to be enormous," he said.

"It'll be really good for us."


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