well-watered mangoes

Mangoes are a fair-weather fruit. If there's too much rain or too little of it, they won’t grow properly. We get most of ours from India, a country with a whole season just for rain – so we wanted to help our mango farmers make the most of it. We did this by teaching them sustainable methods that save water. Things like bunding, which has less to do with those little coloured flags you hang up for a street party and more to do with soil arranging. The soil is packed around the base of the mango tree in a special way so it holds water in and stays healthy, which makes for much happier mangoes.

After talking more with our farmers, we found out that the way they were using chemicals was also a problem. Applying the right types of chemicals at the right time (and doing it safely) is really important and something we realised we could help with.   

To make sure our farmers were growing their mangoes as sustainably and safely as possible, we worked with them to tackle these problems. After a few years, we rolled out the FSA (Farm Sustainability Assessment) with a group of farmers to create a framework they could follow.

sourcing mangoes

good ideas bear fruit

Since then, we've seen these sustainable practices making a real difference. Bunding has been a great success and we’ve taught farmers how to apply better-targeted chemical sprays at the right time. Which means healthier fruit, safer farms and an 80% saving on chemical costs for the farmer.

We also introduced better working conditions on the farms by building toilets and arranging waste chemical container collections. This has made it easier for farmers to find pickers who want to stick around.

The good news is that farmers who grew their mangoes in this way saw 48% higher yields compared to farmers who didn't. But this is just the beginning. We plan to take our sustainable mango program even further by investing in farmer leadership training. This will encourage farmers to come up with great ideas of their own to make mangoes more sustainable, and improve other things that really matter to them.