Home' Partners : Partners: Pakistan – embracing change and transformation Contents ISSUE TWO 2016
of the project identified opportunities in markets
such as China, the UK and Malaysia, and then
determined what qualities a Pakistani mango
would need to offer in each market for it to have a
profitable presence there.
"Then you could go back to Pakistan and ask
how the chain would need to perform---and what
would need to be improved---in order to deliver
that product with those attributes, at that price, in
that particular market," he says.
Back in Pakistan, many of the technical
challenges behind improving quality and shelf
life required significant work, but the project was
able to leverage off best-practice strategies and
technologies from other mango industries, such as
Australia's. Pakistan's mango sector, however, had
a unique logistical barrier to overcome before it
could develop export markets successfully.
Pakistan has long exported mangoes to the UK,
but a short shelf life meant the fruit needed to be
airfreighted, resulting in a high landed price in the
market. Combined with traditionally low quality,
Pakistani mangoes were sold primarily to Pakistani
expats through greengrocers and street markets,
and were not able to access the huge but strict
"To turn that around, for the first time we had
controlled-atmosphere seafreight of Pakistan
mangoes going to the UK, with literally world-class
outcomes," Professor Collins says. "Twenty-five to
28 days on the sea, and out-turns at the other
end were as near to perfect as you can get with a
biological product. They were exceptional results."
The project's controlled-atmosphere results had
the potential to put Pakistan's mango industry at
the technological forefront of mango seafreight.
CHANGING BUYERS' PERCEPTIONS
The project's technical achievements meant
Pakistani mangoes were able to land in the UK and
meet the supermarkets' high quality requirements.
The new offering of 'ASLP best practice' mangoes
were of better quality and lower landed cost
than other Pakistani mangoes, and offered
supermarkets a seven-day shelf life.
The challenge, however, was convincing the UK
members of the value chain that those attributes,
which went counter to decades of experience,
were real. "There was quite a challenge to get
wholesalers, distributors and retailers believing
that Pakistani mangoes could be this good and
would have this shelf life," Professor Collins says.
"We had to personally go into the
supermarkets in the UK, walking the mangoes
through the system, showing people how to
handle them, demonstrating to shoppers how
good they were and letting supermarkets see how
long they would last on a shelf."
CHANGING MARKETERS' PERCEPTIONS
With the export market potential established, the
project turned to building the capacity of value-
chain members in Pakistan in order to exploit local
Convincing traditional middlemen to do
business differently was one of the biggest
challenges for the project, however, and one that
is yet to be fully overcome as the project wraps up.
"The traditional middlemen were loath to be
involved, because their business was transferring
huge volumes of low-quality product as rapidly as
possible at small margins," Professor Collins says.
"What we were proposing was higher quality, but
slower and more expensive, and it just didn't fit
the way they did their business."
Instead, the project had success connecting
with local entrepreneurs who were able to
substitute for traditional wholesalers and
distributors, and who saw promise in an approach
n A focus on delivering value to consumers has proven
its ability to increase returns for mango industry
stakeholders in Pakistan.
n ACIAR training and support have enabled new
direct-marketing initiatives that are improving
incomes for smallholders.
BY TOM BICKNELL
T he mango is known as 'the king of fruits'
in Pakistan and, in line with its popularity,
the country is estimated to be the sixth-
largest global producer of the fruit by
the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. But of
all the mangoes grown in Pakistan, relatively few
make it all the way to consumers.
"One of the early things we established is that
for every hundred mangoes on the tree, roughly
30 reached the consumer. The waste in the system
is just horrendous," explains Professor Ray Collins,
the project leader for ACIAR's 'Pakistan mango
value chain improvement project', part of the
Australia--Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages
Improving that state of affairs was the key focus
of the project, which began in 2006 and wrapped
up at the end 2015.
The project took a systems approach to
improving Pakistan's mango supply chains in order
to deliver better fruit to consumers, develop and
improve markets, and build the capacity to turn
the industry's attention from supply to value. To
achieve those goals, the road to success started in
"We always worked from the market
backwards," Professor Collins says. The initial stages
A decade-long project to develop Pakistan mango
value chains has equipped the country with a
proven toolbox of skills and mindsets
Links Archive Partners: Empowering women, changing lives Partners: Innovative partnerships Navigation Previous Page Next Page