Thursday, September 14, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
By Bronte Hodge
A less than fruitful mango season could impact the supermarket shelves this summer, with customers paying higher than usual prices for mangoes due to poorer growing conditions that have decreased overall production this season.
While this is bad news for consumers, especially with other concerns around the increased cost of living, it could be good news for farmers because with less mangoes on the market, they can command a higher price.
Bowen Gumlu Growers Association (BGGA) President Ry Collins, said they are expecting lower numbers this year, but it is too early to tell the scope of the reduction.
“The delayed flowering of the crop indicates a reduced crop, but it’s hard to say how much this will affect the market,” he said.
“The KP variety, that is the Kensington Pride, or better known as the Bowen Special, is seeing a smaller season, but this could be a good thing for growers.
“In the last season, we saw an oversupply of mangos, which meant the price decreased, and our farmers weren’t seeing a good return.
“If this reduction is a nationwide reduction and not just a regional decrease, then the price of the market will go up and the return for the producers will be good.
“A reduced crop is not necessarily a bad thing.”
Bowen mango grower Ben Martin agrees, saying it’s too early to really predict the incoming seasons yield.
“Numbers are being thrown around that have no weight to them,” he said.
“Yes, we will see a decrease in the crop but not drastically.”
Mr Martin explained that the reduced crops are due to warmer winter temperatures, meaning the mango trees weren’t able to flower as thoroughly as usual.
“Mangoes require cold temperatures and weather to flower, below 16 degrees is ideal, and a few nights of five or six degrees is great, but we struggled with that this winter.”
Mr Martin is also the President of the Australian Mango Industry Association and wishes to encourage consumers to not panic about this predicted reduction.
“Consumers will see less mangoes at shops and have to pay a little bit more for them, but they will still be of great quality.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Bowen and Burdekin regions contribute between 20 and 25 per cent of all Australian mangoes.
Bowen mango farmer, Ben Martin. Photo supplied