A couple weeks ago we took a trip down to Mexico to visit the farms where our mango grows and witnessed the harvest in full swing. The mango season started early this year and it looks like it’ll be big, in contrast to last year, when we faced a large crop failure due to extreme weather conditions. Learning about the complexities of changing weather patterns and how the farmers adjust – watering more or less, hoping the rains will come earlier, pruning trees differently – we were amazed by their passion and dedication, and how much hard work goes into bringing us the sweet goodness that we call much-ado-about-mango.
Our mango is dried very close to the farms so that the fruit is as ripe as possible when it’s picked. Also, shipping the mango already dried helps us minimize our carbon footprint as one pound of dried mango is equivalent to fifteen pounds of fresh mango. The drying facilities themselves employ hundreds of women. In that rural area of Mexico, employment options are extremely limited, so it was inspiring to see all the jobs we helped create.
We were also moved by the sustainability efforts we saw. Our partners are working hard to convert more and more land to organic – a major investment that takes about 3 years without compensation. But, as a result, the farmers are no longer exposed to harmful pesticides and, hopefully, they’ll see greater profits as demand for organic fruit continues to grow. Also great to see were the solar panels we’ve invested in. The ovens we use to dry the mango are now powered by solar panels to cut our carbon footprint even further. Sustainability is key also in the use of mango peels and seeds to make mulch and, if all goes according to plan, biofuels.
With proper care, many of the trees we saw will surely outlive us – they can bear fruit for hundreds of years. We’re thankful for the farmers and hard working moms in Mexico, for their long-term commitment and vision, and their help in making our Peeled Snacks mango so healthy and delicious.
Here are some pictures from the trip…