All across Jamaica mango trees – Julie, East Indian, common mango, blackie, you name it, are blossoming and bearing fruit. And this mango season is going down in history with the first shipment of Jamaican mangoes to the US on Thursday, June 13.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the event at the Export Complex at the Sangster Airport in Montego Bay, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon J.C. Hutchinson, declared: “ There is hardly anything more delicious than a ripe Jamaican mango; it is sweet and it is nutritious. So, today is mango time! We say Jamaican mangoes to the world! At approximately 3 p.m. today, Thursday, June 13, 2019, an American Airlines Flight is scheduled to depart the Sangster International Airport and 12,000 pounds of Jamaican mangoes will be on board.
Congratulations to all involved in this success story and here’s to a safe and happy landing!”
…In the meantime, the Minister has emphasized that approval for mango exports was granted subject to the compliance with standards required by the United States Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture has been working with farmers and exporters to meet the import requirements.
Explaining the process necessary to satisfy the conditions for export, Acting Permanent Secretary, Dermon Spence, says that in accordance with these standards, USDA-APHIS requires treatment of the mangoes by irradiation to a range of precautionary measures. Among the measures are:
1. The mangoes have to be produced in orchards in accordance with a systems approach, employing a combination of mitigation measures for certain fruit flies, soft scale insects, and diseases. Mango shipments would have to be inspected prior to exportation from Jamaica and found free of these pests and diseases.
2. The mangoes have to be exported in commercial consignments only and would have to be treated on entering the USA to mitigate the risk of fruit flies and
3. The mangoes also have to be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate issued by the Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch.
Individual travellers are not permitted to take mangoes with them into the US.