Moscow, Russia – Eastern Europe is eagerly awaiting the first shipment of mangoes from the Philippines, especially the world famous and iconic Guimaras Mango.
Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation Carlos D. Sorreta said that he has been working on the shipment of mangoes to Russia for the last two years only to be told that there is not enough supply of the Guimaras variety.
On Saturday, shortly after I learned of the demand, I immediately called up Agriculture Region VI Director Remelyn Recoter to engage mango farmers of Guimaras through Board Member Dan Elby Habaña and determine whether there is available supply.
I was informed that harvest has already started and that an initial shipment could be made by the first week of April.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) intends to market Philippine mangoes according to variety with the Guimaras as the premium mango.
Those from Zambales and Pangasinan will also be labeled according to the name of the provinces while those from Cebu, Iloilo, Davao and Cotabato will also carry the name of the provinces.
Today, I will meet with the biggest importer of fresh fruits from Asia and will discuss the details of the first shipment of Philippine mangoes to Russia.
Yesterday, Sunday, Ambassador Sorrete invited the Philippine delegation to lunch in a corner eatery owned by Filipino Michael Angara in a supermarket in Moscow.
Ambassador Sorreta led me to a stall which sold mangoes from Thailand, India and Pakistan.
I was shocked to discover that a huge piece of mango which is not even half as sweet as the Philippine mango was sold for P1,000.
The entry of the sweet Philippine mango into the Russian and Belarusian markets could radically change the preference of consumers in Eastern Europe.
Philippine Honorary Consul to Belarus Viktor Chevstov who tasted a few pieces of Guimaras mango which the delegation brought in Friday said that Philippine mango is far superior that any other variety he has tasted.
“After having Guimaras mango, I won’t eat any other mango,” he said during dinner he tendered for the Philippine delegation. (By Sec. Manny Piñol)