​Fresh Mangos Charm during Immersion Trip in Puerto Rico


    The National Mango Board (NMB) invited retail, foodservice and dietician representatives to travel together to Puerto Rico on April 13-16, 2016. The purpose of this trip was to engage guests in all things mango and learn more about one of the world’s most popular fruits. The NMB is dedicated to opening the lines of communication between industry members – from restaurant chefs and operators, to mango farmers, to retail associates. The trip facilitated one-on-one discussions about the luscious mango fruit and generated opportunities for the attendees to bring the knowledge back to their businesses.
    Veny Marti, NMB member, and Dr. Yair Aaron led the tour when the group visited Martex Farms. During their visit they were able to see first-hand the harvesting process in mango groves, and the packing facility where they observed the cleaning, sorting, and packing of mangos, along with the hot water treatment process. The hot water treatment is one of the most common quarantine options for fruit fly risk management, and it is required for mango shipments to the U.S. from most mango growing regions.
    Retail, Foodservice and Dietitian guests of the NMB during the mango immersion trip – Back row from left to right: Chris Romano of Whole Foods, Brent Parrino of The Cheesecake Factory, Jack Salamon of Price Chopper, Ed Ancewicz of Compass Group Eurest. Front row from left to right: Michael Schutt of Raley’s, Dan Ryndak of Southeastern Grocers, Richard Thorpe of Whole Foods, Meredith McGrath of Redner’s Warehouse Market, Patty Wukitisch and Jean Bottillo-Faulisi of Hannaford Brothers.

    The guests also enjoyed a mango tasting and spice pairing experience. The tasting included seven mango varieties at different ripened stages, along with a range of spices, plus limes and lemons. Lastly, the group explored how mangos are loved and enjoyed in Puerto Rico by visiting a produce market and a local grocery store. The group also learned about the history of Puerto Rico on a tour of Castillo San Felipe del Morro. The engagement into the culture and flavors of Puerto Rico inspired the attendees to bring back the mango passion and love to the U.S. and incorporate the experience with their consumers. “I will be doing a class next month at Hannaford on trying exotic fruits, highlighting mangos and doing mango/spice tastings,” exclaimed Jean Botillo-Faulisi of Hannaford Brothers.
    During the mango tasting experience, Michael Schutt, Cece Krumrine, Jack Salamon and Dan Ryndak sample mango varieties and spice combinations.

    “Retailers, registered dieticians, chefs and operators are catalysts who can make a significant difference in promoting mangos to help increase awareness and consumption with consumers in the U.S.,” stated Rachel Muñoz, Director of Marketing at the NMB. “For this reason, it is so important to the NMB that these industry partners experience firsthand the passion and craft of growing and harvesting mangos.” Chris Romano of Whole Foods Market added, "The trip provided a real understanding of the opportunity mangos have to offer. The NMB team gave a great tour, treating us to the amazing food, culture and farming of Puerto Rico.”

    The NMB encourages industry members to visit mango.org/en/Professionals and benefit from the numerous tools and resources that are available.
    Farm tour guests learn about mango harvesting from Dr. Yair Aron of Martex Farms. Pictured left to right: Jack Salamon, Yair Aron, Richard Thorpe, Ed Ancewicz and Tim Beerup.

    About the National Mango Board

    The National Mango Board is an agriculture promotion group, supported by assessments from both domestic and imported mangos. The board was designed to drive awareness and consumption of fresh mangos in the U.S. The superfruit mango contains 100 calories, an excellent source of vitamins A and C, a good source of fiber and an amazing source of tropical flavor. Learn more at mango.org.