New EU mango regulations take effect in September

The European Commission has notified third countries exporting mangoes to the EU market of its new provision of setting stricter phytosanitary controls for mangoes effective 1st September, 2019.

The new rules are a result of an increasing volume of interceptions of mango imports into the EU markets due to the presence of fruit fly.

Data from the European Commission state that there were 178 detections of harmful organisms in mangoes from developing countries. Out of this number, 149 were fruit fly detections, which are the ones that the EU really wants to keep under control.

The new requirements put forward by the EU Commission state that there should be no signs of flies to be observed at the production site and in its vicinity since the start of the last complete vegetation cycle; none of the fruits harvested at the production site must show signs of the organism following an official examination and among other requirement.

Europe imports the majority of its mangoes from developing countries such as Ghana. Between 2013 and 2017, European imports of mangoes (including mangosteen and guavas) from developing countries increased from €461 million to €737 million.

A report from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) reveals an export potential of mango as Ghana exported US$36.4 million worth of fresh mangoes in 2017. The figure represents 1.4 percent of global exports and making the country the 16th largest exporter of the product in the world.

Within the West African sub-region, in 2017 Ghana’s closest sub regional rival in the export of mango to the UK was Cote d’Ivoire with US$3.3 million, followed by Burkina Faso with US$2.8 million.  Officials of GEPA have reckoned that Ghana could conceivably double its mango exports to the EU and UK market if it can raise its product quality, since actual production capacity could easily accommodate this.

Background

Mango is the most cultivated fruit tree in the tropical and sub-tropical Africa. The life of mango plantation is highly profitable from economic point of view which gives higher returns. However, the sustainability of this lucrative business is threatened by fruit flies.

Mango is a low-calorie fruit that is high in fiber and is a great source of vitamin A and C. it also contains folate, B6, iron and a little calcium, zinc and vitamin E.