Spain: Stone fruit crisis also affected Valencian oranges

Since 2014, the Spanish fruit market has been hit by the Russian veto and oranges have been one of the most affected products.

Russia's ban on perishable goods led to what has been called "the stone fruit crisis." This situation, coupled with the existence of an obsolete farmer model, has pushed Valencia's orange producers to look for other options to market their product effectively.

Russia's veto: main cause of stone fruit crisis
The Russian veto came into force in August 2014 and was imposed to the countries that had enforced sanctions against Russia due to the country's actions in the Ukrainian conflict. This veto limited exports of food and agricultural products to Russia, which has been key in the generation of the stone fruit crisis.

The fruit and vegetable sector has been one of the most affected, given that a large share of stone fruit exports (including nectarines and peaches) were intended for Russia. Following the veto, a lot of fruit was lost because it could not be sold at the right time.

According to the Union of Small Producers and Livestock Farmers (UPA), in August 2017 there were 50,000 tonnes of fruit in storage, in most cases in non-consumable conditions. In July this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin reported that the veto would remain in force until December 2018 and will continue to include fruit.

The Russian government is not the only one responsible for the crisis
Although its impact has been great, the Russian veto is not the only reason for the stone fruit crisis.

Associations such as the Union of Farmers and Ranchers of La Rioja (UAGR) and the Coordinator of Organizations of Farmers and Ranchers (COAG), have determined that other reasons for this crisis have to do with non-controlled imports from other countries and with the increase in production without effective planning.

Valencian oranges also seek support to cope with this crisis
Oranges are one of the most consumed fruits in the world. They are popular because of their high content of vitamin C and fibre, which make them beneficial for the health of their consumers.

Valencian oranges in particular are characterised by their good quality, given the favourable climatic conditions of the area where they are produced. Unfortunately, this orange is one of the citrus fruits that have been affected by the stone fruit crisis.
The European Union has approved various economic initiatives aimed at helping the sectors affected by this crisis, so that they can recover the losses generated and avoid an abysmal fall in fruit prices.

Initially, citrus fruits were not included in the list of products eligible to receive economic aid from the European Union; however, following a request made by the Government of Valencia, it was decided that citrus fruits should also be benefiting from economic compensations.

Online marketing: a golden opportunity for Valencian oranges
Innovative initiatives have recently been launched that seek to radically change the traditional handling and marketing of Valencia's orange production and concentrate on using modern tools to sell the fruit, offering an excellent service.

An example of these initiatives is Sunzest Fruits, a company devoted to the production, on-line sale and home delivery of Valencian oranges. This company, which also sells avocados, mandarins, pomegranates, papayas and kakis, is in control of the production and distribution processes of all its products, and serves both individuals and wholesalers, inside and outside Spain.


Publication date: 9/29/2017

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