Sweet News for Alphonso Mango - EU Lifts Ban on Imports

Sweet news for India's Alphonso mango, favoured as the sweetest tasting of them all.

The EU has today lifted its 9 month ban on imports.

The restrictions were imposed in April last year, after tests showing a high proportion of quarantine pests unknown in the EU, in imported consignments.  These pests were mainly insects - and the ban was held necessary to prevent cross contamination to British crops.

Neena Gill Labour MEP for the West Midlands said:

This is the sweetest news for West Midlands traders and restaurant businesses.

Before the ban, over 16 million Alphonso mangoes were imported into the UK each year - that's worth some £6.3 million.

Lifting the ban means sales of this very special Indian fruit can flourish.

And it's sweet news for me.

It's the very first issue I've taken on since being elected.  I've made sure the ban on mango imports has been constantly before the relevant decision makers.  Regularly, knocking on the Commission Directorate's door  to make sure this ban is lifted.

Persistence pays off.

Alphonso mangoes will be imported into the EU from this March - the start of the import season - bringing a real boost to grocery traders and restaurant businesses.

But, I've not finished yet.  Although the Commission has agreed to review the prohibition on certain vegetables, I'm continuing my campaign for imports of Indian aubergine, gouds and patra leaves into the EU.

As the European Parliament's Vice Chair for Delegations with India, I'm also hoping that the lifting of this ban, opens to door for re-energised trade discussions between the EU and India.