News National Mango season heats up in Northern Territory as thousands of trays head south to markets

Mango season heats up in Northern Territory as thousands of trays head south to markets

Berry Creek packing shed manager Tim Elliott runs a packing team of about 70 people. Photo: ABC News
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The mango season is ramping up in the Northern Territory with growers sending thousands of trays to markets around Australia this week.

Australia produced more than 10 million trays for the first time last season, with 48 per cent of the national mango crop produced by the Northern Territory.

Farmers and industry groups believe this year’s crop will be slightly less, but the NT is still forecast to produce a whopping 4 to 4.5 million trays.

Outside Darwin, the Berry Creek mango packing shed is in full swing, which manager Tim Elliott said was relatively early.

“The season looks like it’s running about three weeks early to what it traditionally does,” he said.

“And we are expecting supply to slowly move through until the end of November, [so] we’ll be in the peak of the season for the next few weeks.”

Great-tasting mangoes for consumers

Mangoes from the NT are sent to southern markets via truck and rail.

NT Mango Industry Association president Leo Skliros said consumers could look forward to some great-tasting mangoes this year.

He said prices for growers right now were good at roughly $45 a tray for first-grade Kensington Pride mangoes.

“The quality is definitely looking good and it’s going to be a nice steady flow [of mangoes onto the market] until the end of November,” he said.

“The volume of Kensington Pride mangoes will definitely be down, but I believe Calypso mangoes are still up there with last year’s volumes and maybe even slightly higher.”

Sydney Markets Limited is holding its September board meeting in Darwin on Friday and has been spending the week visiting mango farms and witnessing the Territory’s mango harvest first-hand.

“We’re here to understand the growing side of the business,” chief executive Brad Latham said.

“We want to understand what happens at the farm gate and understand the issues for the farmers and, in turn, hopefully educate the farmers on what we do at the Sydney Markets.

The mango packing shed is hot and very hands-on for all the workers. Photo: ABC News

“This is one of the most popular fruits in the market and we’re supplying that fruit to two-thirds of New South Wales.”