Something struck me the other day as I was shopping at the grocery store—how am I able to get all of this fresh produce throughout the year? The availability of international fruit is a fascinating and truly an impressive feat that is only possible due to globalized supply chains! We are getting to the point in civilization where we take for granted the ability to achieve tasks such as this and it only struck me because of COVID-19. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are seeing the transportation industry become extremely congested as most industries try to rebuild their pre-COVID-19 inventory levels.
Let’s take a dive into what goes into the supply chain of obtaining mangoes in the United States. While some mangoes are now grown closer to the U.S., over half of the world’s supply of mangoes are produced in India and China. This is where our supply chain begins—the farmers of mangoes. Once grown, mangoes will either go into storage or move to a processing facility. From this point, there are a couple of options where the mangoes can move: wholesalers, retailers, or export distributors. It is through one of these three avenues that the mangoes make their way to the United States. Each of these avenues require supply chain basics such as proper warehousing and controlled transportation. Now our beloved mangoes are on their way across the ocean to the United States where they are further distributed to local retailers and eventually land in the hands of consumers.
I mentioned above that most of the mangoes produced worldwide come from Asia, so without these globalized supply chains, it is unlikely that the countries closer to the U.S. would be able to sustain domestic consumer mango consumption. So next time you bite into a delicious piece of fruit from somewhere abroad or even something out of season, you can thank supply chains and recall how fascinating the availability of fruit really is!