It took a young Korean (we are not at liberty to disclose his name) to come up with a smart strategy to make millions from our carabao mango, which is well liked by foreigners for its special flavor and sweetness.

Zac B. Sarian

The fellow uses a modern technology to package his mango product; it is really simple and does not require a huge investment. The technology is called “Instant Quick Freeze” or IQF. What is so smart is that he recognized a very big and profitable market for Philippine mangoes in his home country.

No, he does not go the usual route of shipping whole mango fruits to the foreign market. What he does is to buy mature mango fruits, which he ripens to green ripe stage, not fully ripe. He slices the half-ripe mangoes into halves and each half is quick-frozen in a plastic pouch. These mango halves are then shipped to Korea and sold mostly through the Internet. He advertises his product on television.

Do you know how much he sells the quick-frozen mango halves for? Each sells for the equivalent of Php200, according to our unassailable informant. And do you know how many mango halves he sold last year? He sold at least 2 million halves. At Php 200 each, you can compute how much he grossed, thanks to the wonders of the Internet.

Ricardo Tolentino, the Mango King from Ilocos Norte, reports that he supplied the Korean with no less than 350 tons of mature fruits last year. Besides Tolentino, the Korean also has other suppliers from Iloilo, according to a lady who is also doing business with him.

The Korean is also smart in choosing his fruits. He buys only fruits that are 200 grams each or a little above but not lower. Why? Well that particular size is cheaper than the big fruits, which are usually bought by whole fruit exporters. We are told that the Koreans really love our Philippine mango. Second to Japan, Korea is emerging as a major mango market for this tropical fruit.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s November 2015 issue.