FRANKFURT: With increasing focus on high-value markets of the US, Canada and Dubai, the exporters of mango in Pakistan have started embracing e-commerce in a bid to swiftly and easily reach out to overseas retail customers.
Fruit exporter Farm House Export Private Limited has made preparations to ship Pakistani mangoes after booking orders online.
It began such sales in association with Southwest Airlines of the US last year. Under the arrangement, orders were booked through the airline’s website and the fruit was delivered to customers at almost all big airports of the US.
This year, the company has decided to approach the customers directly as well. It has developed a website named farmfreshshop.com to take retail orders of up to 2kg packaging.
Talking to The Express Tribune, farmfreshshop.com Director Zulfiqar Momin revealed that last year the company exported 55 tons of mangoes to the US, which constituted 33% of total exports of the fruit to that market.
It sold about three tons of mango packs of 2kg each totalling 1,400 boxes with the help of Southwest Airlines.
“Last year’s sales have encouraged us to target the e-market. The company expects to step up its US sales to 80 tons this year,” he said. “Ramazan provides the best opportunity for mango shipments to the US.”
Momin insisted that it was for the first time that a Pakistani company was planning to put in place an organised system for mango sales through e-commerce.
Partnerships have been formed with American air carriers including United Airlines and Southwest Airlines as well as with logistics firm UPS.
United Airlines will carry Pakistani mangoes from Houston to New York while Southwest Airlines will deliver the delicious fruit to customers in all cities across America. The booking of orders will start from May 25 whereas dispatches will kick off from June 1.
Pakistani mangoes are grown with 100% natural methods and no chemical is used during processing. Mango is ripened with the help of ethane – an environment-friendly gas – and its shelf life, natural sweetness and taste are maintained.
Mangoes will be sold at competitive prices which are $6 lower than the price for Indian produce. These mangoes are grown at the best farms. The fruit will be processed in Houston and it will be delivered anywhere in the US within 36 hours.
Apart from the US, Farm House Export Limited is also targeting to market mangoes in Dubai by utilising the e-commerce platform.
Company Director Shafaq Siwani revealed that another website named omymango.com was being launched and it would start receiving orders from May 26.
Packaging of 2kg will be sold for 27 UAE dirhams and in this regard a partnership agreement has been inked with Habib Bank Limited.
She said that Sindhri variety of mango was mostly exported to Gulf countries, but the company would also market other popular varieties such as Chaunsa, Daseri and Anwar Ratol.
“It is an attractively profitable proposition without any cuts for the middleman. The most attractive thing is the promotion of brand,” said Siwani.
The company has set an export target of 25 tons for this year and it is expected to carve out a market very soon in the wake of standards adopted and services offered.
New export season begins
This year’s mango exports are going to start from Saturday (today) with an aim to ship 100,000 tons.
“Pakistan is expected to fetch $68 million if it achieves the annual export target,” said Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) former chairman Waheed Ahmed.
Last year, Pakistan exported 128,000 tons of mangoes, up 28% from the annual target of 100,000 tons.
Pakistan exports mangoes to over 50 countries. It has been exporting the fruit to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and European countries for many years, but has recently entered markets of South Korea, Japan, China, the US and Australia. (Translated by Arshad Shaheen)
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2017.