With the Spanish citrus industry in crisis due to the large volumes of South African fruit flowing into the EU, in October, Spain’s Government will request the EU activates the safeguard clause to protect its citrus fruits. This step is a response to calls from citrus associations and political parties to protect Spanish production which has suffered a drastic drop in the prices in Valencia.
Before making the request to the EU, the trade agreement must have been valid for three years with South Africa. The Spanish Government will also demand greater rigor in the application of current phytosanitary norms with regard to fruit from third countries.
President of the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA), Cristóbal Aguado, said that this campaign has been a disaster and stressed that EU agreements with third countries have been exceeded because there is no reciprocity.
Various measures have been taken to try to alleviate the crisis. In December, the Ministry of Agriculture withdrew 50,000 tons of Spanish citrus from the market to protect prices, however, according to the agricultural organisations, losses are in excess of €100 million.