MANGO LEVY INDUSTRY SNAPSHOT

Mango

INDUSTRY UPDATE

Along with Hortlink, don’t forget that Hort Innovation’s mango grower page is an important source of industry info for levy payers. On it you’ll find:

  • Updates regarding the mango Strategic Investment Plan (SIP), as available. A number of in-person consultation events have been held in recent months around the SIP, and the draft document was available for validation on the grower page during May. The SIP is to be used like a ‘roadmap’ by the mango Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) when providing advice to Hort Innovation on potential levy investments. The final SIP is expected to be circulated soon.
  • The latest meeting notes from the mango SIAP, which most recently met on November 28 in Brisbane, and is due to meet again during July.
  • Current financial documents regarding your levy, including the July 2016 to March 2017 financial operating statement, and expenditure summaries for R&D and marketing projects.
  • Grower resources, events and articles of interest to the industry.

Any questions?

As well as the mango grower page, Hort Innovation Relationship Manager Astrid Hughes is always available to answer questions on the mango program, on 0405 306 334 or at astrid.hughes@horticulture.com.au. For questions relating specifically to the industry’s marketing, contact Hort Innovation Marketing Manager Elisa King.

R&D SNAPSHOT

NEW, ONGOING AND COMPLETED PROJECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY

Mango maturity assessment on farm using NIR (MG16002)

Status: Completed project

What was it all about? Beginning late in 2016, this project was tasked with helping mango growers adopt near-infrared (NIR) technology for assessing and tracking fruit maturity leading up to and during the latest harvest season.

Specifically, it provided instruction and technical support in the calibration and use of Felix 750 Produce Quality Meters – hand-held NIR guns used to rapidly, accurately and non-destructively measure dry matter content (and so indicate maturity) prior to picking.

Overall, the NIR technology was demonstrated as a useful tool for planning and timing harvest, in conjunction with other indicators. The project visited 61 farms in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, with over 6000 scans across five mango varieties taking place. Growers could take part by requesting an assessment through local growing associations and industry development officers.

Full details can be found in the project’s final report, which will soon be available to order at www.horticulture.com.au/about/resources-publications-final-reports. Final reports are free to Australian horticulture levy payers, registered Hort Innovation members and industry representative bodies.

Understanding and mitigating the aggregative response to the magpie goose to mango orchards in the Northern Territory (MG15005)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? By developing an understanding of the population and behavioural dynamics of magpie geese, the goal of this project is to develop sustainable management strategies for the birds on mango orchards. The core components of the project include:

  • An ecological monitoring study to better understand why magpie geese are moving from their native wetlands into mango orchards
  • Empirical studies to assess the effectiveness of various stimuli and environmental modifications in reducing bird density and bird-crop interaction.

What’s the latest update? This season marked the first field work in the project, with the geese active in Darwin mango orchards between September and December 2016. A total of 28 geese were tagged with satellite devices to better understand how they moved within and between orchards and other habitats. Some of the interesting observations were that…

  • After being tagged, geese returned to the same location in the orchard within 24 hours. The researchers note this suggests the birds view the orchard as prime habitat, rather than just a food source (the experience of being caught and tagged didn’t see them stay away long) – this could indicate acute adverse stimuli may not be effective in deterring the geese.
  • The birds were also shown to be creatures of habit, repeating the same movements between orchard, adjacent scrubland and their water source each day – which could indicate management options need to be repeated daily to break up behavioural patterns. Removing or providing negative stimuli in the scrubland and at the water source could also be an effective strategy.
  • At the end of the mango season, some of the birds travelled to the Adelaide River flood plain, while others moved as far as the Victoria River region – indicating the source population of geese is very widespread.

On one farm site, a trial of a sound device (directional loud speaker) was also used in a daily program prior and during the mango harvest to try to deter magpie geese. The researchers report that the technique of disrupting the bird’s ability to settle in the orchard was effective, and while analysis of data from the 10-week trial is ongoing, the farm is thought to have suffered considerably less mango damage compared to previous years.

Mango industry conference 2017 (MG16001)

Status: Completed project

What was it all about? This project facilitated the 11th Australian Mango Conference, which was held from May 2 to 5 in Bowen, Queensland. The industry’s biennial conferences are an opportunity for growers and other stakeholders to meet, learn and share experiences – to ultimately increase awareness, understanding and uptake of new approaches, technologies and information.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Growing Profitability Through Innovation and Technology – Celebrate, Create, Collaborate’. It included presentations from researchers, industry experts, retailers and more, as well as field events.

For those unable to attend, presentations and videos will be available on the industry website (www.industry.mangoes.net.au), and were also to be circulated in the June edition of The Slice, produced under the communications program described below.

Mango industry communications program 2016-17 (MG15006)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? This project maintains and improves the flow of timely and relevant industry information to Australian mango growers and other stakeholders. By keeping the industry up-to-date on R&D and marketing initiatives, news and other critical information, its ultimate goal is to facilitate the uptake of new best-practice approaches and technologies, and to support decision-making in mango businesses.

What’s the latest update? A number of regular communication channels continue to be produced and maintained by this project, including but not limited to:

  • The quarterly Mango Matters publication, distributed in hard copy and as an electronic resource, with issues available here
  • E-newsletter The Slice, produced monthly in the mango off-season, with issues available here
  • E-newsletter My Mango, produced monthly in the pre-season period and during the mango season, with issues available here
  • Industry workshops
  • Webinars to present key information to growers, with the latest workshops scheduled between May and August this year. Look out for updates in industry e-newsletters.

The project has also recently published an updated best-practice guide on sprayer calibration and spray application, which was released at the recent Australian Mango Conference held in Bowen in early May and will be available to download from the industry website and Hort Innovation shortly.

As reported in the last edition of Hortlink, other resources produced in recent months under the project have included:

  • Two video resources on correct sprayer calibration and spray application, available here and here

Monitoring mangoes through the supply chain to the USA – 2 (MG16003)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? This project was established to support the continued development of mango exports to the United States. During the 2016/17 season, it was responsible for monitoring compliance and quality across mango varieties and exporters, from the time of export treatments in Australia right through to the fruit appearing in retail displays in the US.

What’s the latest update? Throughout the most recent season, the project reported back to Australian growers and exporters on quality and supply chain activity. It is expected that the project will now be extended, continuing these activities for a further year.

Capacity building, information, technology and extension for the Australian mango industry (MG13017)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? This project, running since 2014, funds the position of a dedicated industry development manager (IDM) within the Australian Mango Industry Association. The IDM, Trevor Dunmall, is responsible for managing a range of activities all with the ultimate goal of improving the profitability and long-term sustainability of the Australian mango industry. Some of the core activities include crop forecasting and biosecurity work.

What’s the latest update? While no new milestone report was due in the period since the last edition of Hortlink (2017, edition 1), you can see last edition’s update here and will find new information in the next Hortlink.

Quality standards, refinement and testing (MG15002)

Status: Near-completed project

What’s it all about? This project has been responsible for delivering ongoing training to key quality staff through the supply chain, with the ultimate goal of ensuring consistent quality of mangoes that meet or exceed consumer expectations.

What’s the latest update? With the project’s final report due to Hort Innovation shortly, it is expected a full project wrap-up will be provided in the next edition of Hortlink. To read the project update from last edition, click here.

Data collection to facilitate supply chain transparency – stage 3 (MG15003)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? With its third phase beginning in 2016, this ongoing data collection project provides growers and other industry participants with timely domestic information on two key factors that can influence profitability: mango wholesale prices and eating quality.

What’s the latest update? For the 2016/17 season, project activities have included publishing daily and weekly wholesale prices, accessible via www.industry.mangoes.net.au/market-prices/. The regular provision of this independently collected data has given growers clear signals on market conditions, allowing sound business decisions to be made throughout the season.

In regards to mango quality, reports of mango maturity at major wholesale markets in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne were also produced (with distribution centre staff trained in the use of Felix 750 Produce Quality Meters for the objective, non-destructive near-infrared measurement of dry matter content, under above project MG15002). These reports have been circulated in the My Mango e-newsletter.

Mango industry minor use program (MG16004)

Status: Ongoing project

What’s it all about? Through this project, levy funds and Australian Government contributions are used to renew and apply for new minor use permits for the mango industry. These submissions are prepared and submitted to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

What’s the latest update? All current minor use permits for the industry are searchable at portal.apvma.gov.au/permits. Permit updates are also circulated in Hort Innovation’s Growing Innovation e-newsletter, which levy-paying members receive monthly. Not a member? Sign up for free here.

MARKETING SNAPSHOT

THE LATEST ACTIVITY THAT’S GROWING THE INDUSTRY

February and March saw the mango ‘consumer demand plan’ (the marketing initiative made up of public relations, events and social media activity) come to an end. Much of the campaign’s activity was described in detail in the last Hortlink, and as the season drew to a close, coverage for mango recipes remained strong in the media right to the end. There was also good coverage of the campaign’s mango freezing tips to help consumers extend the season – such as this article from Better Homes and Gardens.

Strong engagement in mango social media channels also continued right to the end, with a great response to this grower farewell Facebook video, made to thank the social media community for their support throughout the season. Posted to sign-off the Facebook page on March 26, more than 35,000 mango lovers have watched the video. More than 120 people also shared it in their own social media channels, and there were some 160 comments saying thank you back, with fans expressing how much they can’t wait for Aussie Mangoes to be back in season again.

Social activity also concluded with the Aussie Mangoes Instagram account (@aussiemangoes) reaching 5000 fans – showing just how much love Australians have for mangoes.

Campaign results

The results of Hort Innovation’s three-year strategic marketing plan for the mango industry were presented at the 11th Australian Mango Conference in early May.

Nielsen data showed, from 2013 to 2016, unit growth of 18.4 per cent, price growth of 18.1 per cent and value growth of a considerable 39.8 per cent. To put that into perspective, from 2013 to 2016, overall the fruit category grew 20 per cent in value – making a growth of 39.8 per cent for mangoes an incredible achievement.

This growth was driven by gaining an extra 590,000 households into the category.

Planning is underway for the next three-year marketing campaign.

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2017-06-23T23:53:10+00:00