The National Mango Board is expanding its efforts to educate retailers, importers and handlers on mango best practices through its Ripe and Ready to Eat Program.

On Aug. 20, the Orlando, Fla.-based organization hosted a Web seminar that discussed topics covered in the Mango Handling and Ripening Protocol.

Those topics included temperature management, ripeness training and storage and transportation and the board is moving forward to educate the industry on the importance of proper handling, according to a news release.

Speakers included Dennis Kihlstadius of Produce Technical Services and Wendy McManus, the board’s retail program manager.

Experts provided best practices and recommendations for stores and distribution centers that included improving temperature management at all distribution levels during transportation and storage as well as store mango displays, according to the release.

The board’s research shows ripe fruit encourages higher shopper purchases, according to the release.

“Appropriate temperature management is an important component to improve consumers’ mango eating experience and knowing the opportunities of improvement is beneficial to the industry,” William Watson, the board’s executive director, said in the release. “Consumers continue to tell us they do not know when a mango is ripe. Our mango ripening program is designed to provide tools for the industry to consider if they want to develop their own ripening system.”

Other commodities packed and shipped through ripening programs have experienced considerable sales growth and there is much more research the mango industry needs to do but the board feels the industry is on the right path, Watson said in the release.