The first mandarin sales between farmers and businesses indicate that prices are somewhat lower than last year. In recent times, there has been an increase in cases of fraud and varietal piracy, which has led several large companies to develop a tool to identify the different varieties with precision using molecular markers. The project, called Go Citrus, includes the participation of the Professional Association of Fruit Exporters (Asociex), Anecoop and Eurosemillas, Cañamás Hermanos, Martinavarro, Génesis Innovation Group and the Institut Valencià d’Investigacions Agràries.
The project was prompted by cases of fraud occurring in Castellon and in the rest of Spain involving unauthorised planting and marketing of varieties protected by royalties, such as Orri, Tango or Nadorcott. Until now, the fight against varietal piracy has mainly focused on the field and in handling centres, through labelling systems and varietal identification of the lots. However, the new system will increase controls at the points of sale and speed up the obtaining of results; in just 48 hours, it will be possible to determine with total accuracy to which variety an orange or mandarin belongs.