We’re excited to announce the arrival of our Whole Trade™ Francique (AKA Francis) mangoes from Haiti. The first shipments of the season are working their way to our stores this week. We hope to offer them throughout May, but supply is limited so we recommend you check with your local store before you make a special trip. These are some of the best mangoes that arrive in the U.S. each year. The Francique variety is unique to Haiti and available only during a short season each spring. These are plump, juicy mangoes with lots of fruit on them. When ripe, they are soft with an orange or gold freckled skin. They have a smooth, rich flesh and distinct tropical flavor. Personally, I taste a hint of coconut. The New York Times recently described Haitian mangoes as velvety fleshed and honeyed with a bright flavor. Whichever words you choose, we think you’ll agree these are worth a try! While you may find Haitian mangoes at fruit stands and markets along the east coast, our Whole Trade™ supply is different. Whole Foods Market is the only buyer of Fair Trade and organic mangoes from Haiti – you won’t find them anywhere else. Our mangoes come from a network of hundreds of very small farmers, many of whom have just one or two mango trees. For some of these farmers, the annual mango harvest will represent a large portion of their cash income for the entire year. Over the past several years, our partners at Perry Exports have helped these farmers organize into groups through which the farmers can sell their fruit more directly. Through these groups, we are able to make fixed price and minimum volume commitments before the season, so farmers know they’ll have a market for their fruit. Our upfront offer gives farmers the confidence to reject the below market prices from informal traders that are an unfortunate reality for most Haitian mango farmers. These farmer groups have achieved Fair Trade certification (no small feat), which ensures that the groups are managed transparently and that our higher purchase price makes it all the way back to the farmers. Many groups have also achieved organic certification, which adds additional transparency and market value. While all of our Whole Trade Haitian mangoes are Fair Trade, only some are also organic. We are proud to work with a unique group of farmers and traders to build a supply chain that gets more money back to the small farmers who grow this fruit. We hope you get the opportunity to enjoy one of the finest mangoes of the year and know that your purchase supports this special group of small farmers in Haiti.