The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) has called on Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture to allocate direct aid to citrus fruits due to the serious profitability crisis that the vast majority of orange and mandarin producers are going through.
The Valencian citrus sector is concluding an “absolutely disastrous” campaign, since while production costs have risen by more than 30% year-on-year due to the rise in electricity, fuel, fertiliser and phytosanitary costs, prices at origin have halved compared to last year – with most varieties below cost – despite the fact that the prices paid by consumers have remained high and have even increased.
President of AVA-ASAJA, Cristóbal Aguado, said:
“The Government must act urgently because it is evident that the market stabilisation mechanisms are not working, the law of the food chain is being flagrantly breached and foreign imports, produced following more lax phytosanitary and environmental standards, are displacing our citrus fruits in European markets. The war in Ukraine has made the situation worse, but it is by no means the only cause. As long as our own production is at rock-bottom prices, not a single import should enter the market. We need to prioritise EU products, remove agriculture from the competition rules and once and for all rebalance the value chain. But without all that, in the short term, the government has to help if we don’t want to see our orchards abandoned.”