BY DR. NIMROD
“The greatest business opportunities are hiding, where experts believe there is none”
For many years every mango trader, exporter, and marketer associated with mango agri-business in Africa, Asia, and Latin America complained before me about the uncertainty of the mango market.
One should know that any businessperson hates one thing more than anything else, that is – UNCERTAINTY!
THE REASONS FOR UNCERTAINTY AND THE MANGO PRODUCTION CONSTRAINTS
When I ask myself, trying to find out what are the roots of that uncertainty, many reasons arise in my mind, but three reasons repeatedly come up:
1. Quality – Lack of consistent Quality.
Mainly in matters of chemical residues, fruit fly infestations, and internal quality indices.
2. Quantity – Not enough produce standing up to export quality standards.
Not enough farmers meet the threshold requirements. As a result, to fulfill the required quantity, traders often have to settle for lower quality so they can meet their target volume. The pullback is that traders lose their customers (buyers) because of the inability to supply the necessary quantity as demanded by the end consumers.
3. Availability – The mangoes season is particularly short.
The season is much shorter than it should be in the main growing areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Farmers rush to harvest as early as possible, and late-season varieties are out of the question. Soon we will understand why this is happening.
The above three reasons for uncertainty (QQA) seem unconnected. Is it really so?
Is there really no common ground between those three reasons?
When we dig deeper, we can see how each of the problems can be attributed to a single, Technical, Root Problem – the inability to effectively control fruit flies in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The economic impact of that Root Problem is devastating to the agri-business industry of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
That Technical Root Problem of the fruit flies (effective/ineffective management) ignite a chain reaction that causes the following chain of linked events:
⇒ use of ineffective sprays and traps for fruit fly control.
unacceptable infestation even in pre-mature Mango.
⇒ high fruit fly infestation in mature fruits causing high yield loss.
⇒ the tendency of farmers to harvest immature fruits, and generally as early as possible, to avoid fruit fly infestation, hence compromising mangoes’ quality.
⇒ not to jeopardize export, farmers cease harvest very early in the season, while often 30% to 50% of produce is still on the trees.
⇒ leading to a short mango export season.
⇒ despite the efforts, some early-stage infested mangoes (undetectable by standard phytosanitary inspections) infiltrate through the Plant Protection inspection all the way to the Export Markets.
⇒ leading to Export Ban.
⇒ when many African, Asian, and Latin American countries cannot export fresh mangoes.
⇒ further exacerbating the mango industry QQA uncertainty situation.
⇒ creating a shortage of fruits in the International Markets.
⇒ increasing consumer price and lowering consumer satisfaction!
The obvious outcome is a low quality produce, of limited volume, available during a short period, consequently causing high loss of income to all parties involved in the supply chain.
The practical conclusion is that the ability to effectively manage fruit flies
dictates the state of the mango industry, which is reflected in mangoes’ QQA worldwide.
Consumers’ satisfaction, ability, and readiness to buy (and pay for) mangoes is the result of the above.
Consumers say nothing complain of nothing to any of the stakeholders in the value chain. Instead, they switch to buy different produce that will provide them with higher satisfaction and a good feeling for their investment.
Typical to any market, the entire industry is affected when consumers buy less.
Every negative experience of consumers, including the absence of mangoes on the supermarkets’ shelves, and surly the buying of low-quality pre-mature fruits, is sending shock waves, affecting traders and farmers in the main production areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
It is estimated that over 95% of the global mango production is not eligible to export due to fruit flies’ issues.
Fifty percent (50%) of it is not even consumable by local markets.
The annual value of the lost production and export markets is estimated at many USD Billions.
Think for a moment about a different market, for example, the apple market.
As a former apple grower, and as one who loves to eat good apples, I am well aware of differences in quality between apple producers, varieties, etc.
Thanks to a very developed industry, enjoying advanced technological solutions, today apples, at various qualities, are available around the world, year-round in every supermarket.
A typical fruit stand in Dakar, Senegal, on July 2020. July is the picking season of mangoes in Senegal. Yet we see two varieties of high quality imported apples, a choice of imported quality citrus varieties versus a single variety of not so high quality mangoes.
Note that apples' and citrus volume/area on the stand is over 5 folds the mangoes' volume/area.
As a result, the apple industry increased its size many folds compared to the times when apples were available only during part of the year.
Back to the mangoes status.
In most global markets, it is impossible to buy high-quality mangoes during most months of the year. Of course, there are individual markets where the quality is excellent, and the mango is available all year round, but they are exceptional, indicative of the rule.
SO, HOW DO WE EXPAND THE MANGO MARKET BY FIVE-FOLD?
In order to increase mango's market share, steps must be taken to solve existing problems and remove the limit of QQA (Quality, Quantity, and Availability); in this order.
How do we do it in practice?
Until now, attempts were made to address each of the above issues separately.
This approach failed because the Technical Root Problem was not addressed or not addressed properly, bringing unsatisfying results.
Remember the Root Problem we defined at the beginning of my blog –
THE FRUIT FLIES.
The inability to effectively manage fruit flies in the main mango growing areas has resulted in huge crop loss, necessitating early harvesting, and limiting the varieties and harvest seasons to a short period when the fruit fly population is low.
Instead of having more suppliers and larger quantity, we end up having fewer suppliers and less quantity, as a result of increasing quarantine requirements for (a) zero fruit fly infestations, and (b) zero chemical residues.
This disqualified many potential suppliers, leaving fewer suppliers, supplying less quantity at a sub-optimal quality, during a shorter season.
Reality meets the market when there is demand but no supply to the traders!
Summarizing – the situation is not getting any better, and those are not “good news” for the mango industry.
A MANGO TRADER WISH LIST
If you are a mango trader and you could close your eyes and make a wish, then you would wish you had a solution to the Root Problem of fruit flies, for all the farmers supplying you all the mangoes that you need, all the time.
This would allow you to get the triple (QQA) advantage:
(A) Mangoes are free of chemical residues.
(B) Mangoes are free of fruit flies (quarantine pests).
(C) A prolonged mango production season.
Actually, the result will be an INNOVATIVE, game-changer, a high potential business opportunity created by the highly efficient, simple, high quality, available, and reliable solution of the Root Problem of fruit flies.
This would lead to an increase in the quality, export volume, and availability of mangoes in the global export markets, from more suppliers and will increase the income of all parties in the supply chain.
This is a direct result of consumers' improved experience and satisfaction requirements.
When we apply such a solution, then a predictable and sure future is increasing the market volume and value by hundreds of percent, as happened when apples and oranges began to be marketed throughout the year.
The main beneficiaries of such a change will be consumers who will enjoy a higher mango quality, expressed by a much better mango eating experience of taste, smell, color, texture, varieties, size, etc. and prolonged availability throughout the year.
As a Trader – your goal is to satisfy consumers so they will demand more of the products you are trading with, and while doing so, you wish to increase buyers' demand and grow your business and revenue.
FRUIT FLY CERTIFIED TRADE ZONE (FFCTZ)
Recently, I shared with you the concept of a “revolutionary” approach based on a protocol for effective fruit fly management, which we call Fruit Fly Certified Trade Zone (FFCTZ) [>><<].
The key advantages are of that protocol are:
FFCTZ protocol is unique in its simplicity, small size, and the easy ability to apply it within just a few months. This is in contrast to the large, complex, and expensive projects of the Sterile Insect Technology (SIT) and the like.
FFCTZ can be applied in small areas, as small as only 0.5 square kilometers. Meaning only tens or hundreds of hectares. This is in contrast to the big and expensive SIT and alike protocols that are effective only when applied over hundreds or thousands of square kilometers.
FFCTZ has no overhead or hidden costs. The client pays only for the operation costs of goods and services.
FFCTZ time to results – with the FFCTZ, you see the results within the first season.
This is in contrast to SIT and alike projects where it takes years (3, 6, 10, and even more) before you see the promised results, if you ever see it.
FFCTZ is easily adaptable to a variety of climatic zones.
FFCTZ is suitable even for the extreme situation when you need to simultaneously control a mixed fruit fly population of 2-3 species.
FFCTZ is based on a non-spraying breaking through technology, so chemical residues are no longer an issue. This is in contrast to other fruit fly system approach, all based on wide and repeated application of sprays.
FFCTZ is first, and above all, a highly effective fruit fly management protocol, which enables you to reduce fruit fly problems by 99.9% (data is based on actual filed results). This is in contrast to old technologies and protocols, resulting in 30% to 80% fruit fly damage around Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Until the introduction of the FFCTZ concept, mango traders (exporters, importers, etc.) were competing to get access to the few high-quality mango producers.
Even then, traders couldn't be sure about the final quality, volume (tons), and availability in the coming year.
Uncertainty is the devil in disguise when talking about business and planning ahead.
This is no longer the case when you apply FFCTZ in your source farms; then, the uncertainty becomes a non-issue!
Finally, you can focus on recruiting more buyers for more high-quality fruits that you offer.
Instead of taking unnecessary risks, make sure that the farms supplying your demands are applying the FFCTZ protocol.
By doing so, you increase predictability thanks to a tighten link between the grower, you, and the consumers. Now the steering wheel is finally where you want it, in your hands – leading your business towards great days.
Very hard to believe, but it is as easy as it sounds. Ask my Senegalese friends from Elephant Vert company.
You can be mistrusting and wait another year, let your competitors take your place on the market, totally missing the opportunity, or you can start moving and make your discovery NOW in the coming season.
My formula subscription for business success is a long-term cooperation, where we start slow and small and gradually increase the pace as both sides gain successful results and trust.
THE THINGS YOU CAN EXPECT IN THE FIRST YEAR UNDER FFCTZ!?
You may say to yourself, "I have no time, and I need to see quick field results. I wonder what kind of results I will see after, let's say, 3 to 6 months, or even a year.
"I love those who mistrust because that is exactly how I would react if I would hear something like this.
Because every FFCTZ is somewhat different from others, hence, we always set expectations after we understand each particular situation, and customize each FFCTZ program.
But, to give you some taste and a bit of idea about what you can expect, what you should get yourself ready, the meaning of applying FFCTZ, and the change you are about to experience, I have compiled here for you a list of topics where change is expected and the extent of the change.
MANGO TRADER (import/export) - look into your future:
Any farm of your choice in Africa, Asia, and Latin America can be your secured and guaranteed quality supplier.
• Improved Mango QQA.
• More mango to trade with.
• Longer marketing period.
• Greater flexibility in marketing.
• Market limitations are moving from Production to Marketing and Consumer demand.
• Export Bans? Due to sticker regulation fulfillment by the FFCTZ, it is no longer an issue!
• Reduced risk of rejecting your container due to phytosanitary issues.
• Peace of mind and fearless from the Supermarket inspector's inspection.
• Happy clients, increased income per Kg, growing demand for Mangoes, and fewer business risks.
– this is how your future would look:
• 100% reduction in fruit fly sprays.
• Better biological balance (due to no fruit flies' sprays) will decrease problems with pests other than fruit flies.
• Over 95% reduction of mango infestation by fruit flies.
• 95% reduction in extra work during harvest and packaging for sorting infested mangoes.
• 85% reduction in labor associated with fruit fly control and management activities.
• 25% to 50% more available produce per Ha. to market.
• Flexibility of harvesting time.
• Ability to grow many more mango varieties that will farther extend the season.
• A strong market demand to increase supply and (potentially) your farm size.
• Peace of mind and fearless from the Plant Protection Services inspections.
• Buyers will be looking for you, and not vice versa.
• Significant increase in PROFITABILITY and an improved ROI.
• You get your life back with 100% ability to refocus on your main tasks of growing and marketing your beautiful and tasty mangoes for growing market demand.
THE BIG PICTURE AND NEXT STEPS
The technology, protocol, and the ability to apply it already exist, how fast you will see it in the farms supplying your QQA demands is a different question, which almost totally depends on your decision how fast you are able and want to move.
In recent weeks, after I shared with you about the FFCTZ opportunities, I received many inquiries from people representing traders, packinghouses, exporters, importers, and mango processing companies.
All of them sought to examine the establishment of FFCTZ in the farms from where they get their supply, in order to improve the QQA parameters of their business.
We are now working with those people to learn the business feasibility as part of their target to tune (improve) their QQA parameters, on their way for a more significant foothold in the international markets.
I expect that this trend will gain momentum and intensify as market and procurement professionals understand the potential that exists in the novel concept of FFCTZ protocol and its visible business upsides.
Biofeed sees the end-consumer in the heart of its activities. Hence addressing consumers' demands and desires is our passion.
While FFCTZ is our way of addressing the Technical Root Problem, Biofeed's way of addressing Consumers' demands and fulfilling their dreams is through the Green Valley Initiative and model [>><<].In short, Green Valley is Biofeed's way to ensure that Consumers will get the best experience when buying, paying, and consuming a mango that came from a FFCTZ farm.
Yes, FFCTZ is a part of a greater structure called Green Valley, which we will discuss thoroughly with you once we enter into detailed business interaction.
In any case, your first step to improve your TRADE business future is to establish the FFCTZ; Green Valley is an option for the future expansion of the cooperation.
|Contact me if you wish to discuss your options to kick-start your economy or national scale operation using advanced economic models, protocols, and field-tested proven agricultural technologies.Let's see how together we can take a GIANT step forward and bring high-value business and market results.