Gert Bouman has been working for the Spanish private producer Frutaria for 25 years but he says he's never seen such a bad citrus season as this one. "I don't think there is one cause, there are multiple factors that influenced it. It hasn't been cold yet and this affects the consumption. Spain also has a large production, there was a large supply from South Africa and there has been a lot of fruit available from Egypt, Morocco and Greece."
The Dutchman doesn't have much faith in a revival in the Spanish service. "Spring is coming. The best period for citrus consumption is already behind us. Customers have three times more supply available than they can sell. We are hardly selling within Europe at the moment and have looked for markets outside of Europe. That saved our season a little." Gert does expect the result of this bad season to be incalculable. "We can't invest in the future with the low payout prices. Then it stops and turns into re mediation."
"I foresee a division between the quality fruit and the fruit that just isn't. People will start looking for varieties to do better in the future. There is a lot more overlap of seasons and this means there is always a supply of citrus," continues Gert. "You can't blame one party for this situation. Whether it's the producers, the supermarket, Egypt or Morocco. The fact is that there's an oversupply. I believe that the European community has to protect itself from products from other continents. If not, the citrus culture in Spain is doomed."
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