Indo-Swiss firm, Innoterra signs MoU with Alphonso farmers of Konkan belt

Innoterra, an Indo-Swiss food and technology platform company, has signed an MoU with Alphonso-growing farmer collectives in the Konkan belt to take the GI-tagged mangoes to consumers worldwide from the upcoming mango season.

The farmer cooperatives and the company plan to co-invest $1 million in the initial phase of this collaboration. Through this, Innoterra plans to bring around 3,000 million tonnes  of fully traceable Alphonso mangoes to consumers in domestic as well as international markets.

The initiative will utilise the pack houses and other infrastructure of Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and technical support from Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli.

Sunil Pawar, MD, MSAMB, said while Konkan Alphonso has the GI tag, other similar-looking mangoes sourced from other regions could be sold as Alphonso.

“This not only dilutes Alphonso’s brand name but also eats into the margins of Konkan farmers. A farmer-owned marketing company would have the ability to strengthen the global brand of Alphonso,” he said.

Alphonso mango exports from Maharashtra has been relatively on the decline over the past couple of years. The Geographical Indication (GI) tag could become a major aspect for export and MSAMB has come up with several incentives for GI products to encourage mango and other agriculture commodity exports from the state.

The government has granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the alphonso mango from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and other adjoining areas, a move that will help identify the authenticity of this variety of fruit.

A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality. The king of mangoes, Alphonso, better known as ‘Hapus’ in Maharashtra, is in demand in domestic and international markets for its taste, pleasant fragrance and vibrant colour. It has long been one of the world’s most popular fruits and is exported to various countries including Japan, Korea and Europe.

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