South African citrus sector calls for government support
The CGA has demanded the South African government address an imminent crisis related to EU regulations around false codling moth (FCM) that threatens orange exports and grower livelihoods. The South African citrus industry has embarked on a letter writing campaign to the government as it looks to stave off the effects of new EU regulations on the country’s orange export sector before the start of the new season, but, so far, to little effect.
As the 2023 orange citrus season is set to begin, the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA) has written to the minister of trade, industry and competition, Ebrahim Patel, and minister of agriculture, Thoko Didiza, requesting an urgent update over the government’s interventions to help resolve the current impasse between South Africa and the European Union.
“Despite months of consultations between both parties at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) level, it appears very limited progress has been achieved to avert the crisis that will face the industry should growers have to implement these new regulations when oranges start being shipped to European markets in less than two weeks’ time,” said Justin Chadwick, CGA chief executive.
The CGA said the crisis included an estimated R500m in losses to growers and around 20 per cent of oranges produced for Europe not being shipped this season.
“It is critical that the South African government draws a line in the sand within the next two weeks, so we put a stop to this looming crisis threatening the number one agricultural exporter in our country,” Chadwick added. “The CGA remains committed to continue working with our government on this critical matter to ensure the short-term and long-term survival of our industry.”