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South African authorities doing everything to ensure proper procedures are followedWith the South African Valencia exports just getting into full flow, the threat of an export ban into Europe is back in the news. It has been rumoured that four interceptions of Citrus Black Spot have now been made, but this has not been confirmed.
Despite all the best efforts and rigorous controls by South African growers and authorities, CBS is still being found. Back in May the European Standing Committee on Plant Health in Brussels ruled that after 5 interceptions "additional measures" could be implemented, what these would be is not clear.
Around quarter way through the Valencia season, 11.9m cartons from an estimated of 49.5m cartons have been packed. Justin Chadwick CEO of the Citrus Growers Association expects to export similar volumes to last year. "Depending on the current situation it may have to be to different destinations. The fruit is well suited to the EU market with its size and colour, but can also be shipped elsewhere."
He goes on to say that the South African authorities are doing everything to ensure all the proper procedures are followed.
During the 2013 export season (from April to November) around 600 000 tonnes of citrus fruit were imported from South Africa. This represents approximately one third of the EU's total import of citrus fruit, with oranges being the main citrus commodity.
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