It is not often that a golden opportunity lands in your lap for you to grab by the proverbial horns and run with. It’s even rarer for someone to not take advantage of that said opportunity (twice), but still be able to actualize the potential of it. This is the fortunate, or unfortunate depending on how you look at it, situation that Pakistan’s mango export industry is currently in.
Effective from May, India was hit with an embargo on mangoes after batches were found to be infested with fruit flies. India’s prized Alphonsos, dubbed as the “King of Fruits”, and another four vegetables/fruits were contaminated. This European Union ban gave Pakistan, who already had an economic edge over India in the mango market, an opportunity to take a bigger slice of the market.
This should ring bells for all mango exporters in Pakistan since the EU has effectively removed their competition for them. Unfortunately, Pakistan has mismanaged its strategy which has led to flaws in the quality control, ultimately leading to fruit flies being found in their mangoes as well. This has been identified twice now. The sweet and sensational yellow fruit is yearned for all over the globe, so why are we not doing everything we can to ensure we do not follow in the footsteps of India?
On the heels of the magnificent win with the GSP+ status from the EU, Pakistan can manage the win here. For the next few months at least, they need to affix additional quality control staff, visit the facilities where the cleaning process takes and ensure that random inspections are taken as well as revisit some of their policies. This golden opportunity should not be wasted.