Valencian farmer’s association urges Spanish Government to take action over pests from abroad
The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) has expressed its confidence that the Spanish Government will promote initiatives aimed at further toughening phytosanitary controls in the EU in order to minimise the risks of new pests, especially black spot disease, found in shipments from South Africa.
In 2017 alone, a total of 24 shipments of citrus fruits in the EU originating in South Africa were found to be contaminated with black spot, a quarantine disease, absent in European citrus, which causes serious spots on the skin of the fruits, making it impossible to sell.
In 2016, EU Commission made relaxed controls on pests and diseases emanating from South Africa, allowing its citrus fruits to enter Europe through the industry channel and without the need for cold treatment. This privileged treatment culminated with the signing of a 2016 trade agreement with South Africa that favours imports of the country’s citrus fruits even though it has systematically failed to control the plant health of its citrus shipments.