Thursday, April 18, 2024

Striking gold with premium mangoes

Honey Gold mangoes have arrived on East Coast supermarket shelves. Despite a lighter season than usual, Piñata Farms will harvest the premium fruit continuously until March.

Piñata Farms General Manager Tropicals Stephen Scurr says volumes are light across all growing regions due to warmer conditions than required during the crucial flowering period in winter.

“Volume is significantly down on last season, and previous average seasons,” he says, adding most Australian mango varieties are affected this season.

“We just didn’t get the consistent cool nights required for good flowering in any mango growing region – and neither did any other grower in northern Australia.”

Harvesting schedule

Honey Gold mangoes are produced in the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia at Piñata’s own farms and that of some 30 contracted growers.

Night picking of the specialty variety began in the Northern Territory on November 2 and the Queensland harvest is expected to start later this month.

Queensland growers produce nearly 70 per cent of the entire Honey Gold crop. Queensland growing regions include Bowen, Giru, Mareeba, Mutchilba, Yeppoon, Benaraby, Yarwun, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Childers, Mundubbera and Narangba.

Once picked and packed, Piñata Farms’ mangoes are transported to capital cities for ripening and distribution to leading retail customers throughout Australia.

Mr Scurr says the quality and size of this season’s Honey Gold harvest are “as good as ever and consistent with what consumers have come to expect”.

Honey Golds at a glance

The Honey Gold variety was founded by the late Noel Sammon in Rockhampton, Central Queensland in the 1990s. It is a cross between a Kensington Pride and an unknown type. The original tree continues to produce a crop.

As mangoes go, Honey Golds have a small seed-high flesh ratio and the flesh is fibreless. Honey Gold mangoes have a yellow-orange, glossy skin and an intense, punchy, distinctive flavour. Their flavour is said to resemble honey, hence their name.

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