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Falling prices and arrival of oranges from third countries

Spain: Senate discussing motion for promotion of citrus consumption

In the next plenary session, the Senate will debate a motion presented by Compromís that urges the promotion of citrus consumption, "not just because of its benefits, but also due to the need to help a sector that is currently in a difficult position as a result of the import of oranges from third countries."

The initiative of the coalition recalled that orange groves are predominantly part of the landscape in Valencia, although other areas, such as Catalonia, Murcia and Andalusia, also grow the fruit," reported Compromís in its statement.

The proposal calls for the creation of a "distinctive identity" for Spanish citrus fruits, as well as for collaboration with regional governments and the sector to organise promotional campaigns and boost its consumption in restaurants and cafeterias in public buildings.

It also urges the European authorities to tighten sanitary controls to prevent the spread of health issues, so that the arrival of fruit from third countries does not have a negative impact on the local production.

"Citrus cultivation is traditional in our territory and has sustained the economy of thousands of people for a long time," said Carles Mulet, Compromís representative in the upper house. However, he lamented that "with the increase in the import of oranges from third countries, the crop's profitability has been reduced."

Competition between Valencian and South African oranges
The text recalls the overlap between the orange campaign in the Region of Valencia, which kicks off around 15 October, and the deadline for imports from South Africa, which has been extended to 30 November. As a result, "Valencian and South African oranges compete in the same market."

"Although the difference in price, freshness and quality is more than remarkable, both end up on the same shelves, and the capacity of cold stores to extend the product's shelf life in the market only makes matters worse," says the motion.

Compromís warned that the problem will only worsen over time, since "the agreement foresees that, in less than ten years, tariffs will be eliminated, seriously threatening the cultivation of citrus in the area." Moreover, the trade agreement with Canada (CETA) will allow (according to the coalition) this country "to market its oranges, whatever their origin, under the 'Valencia Orange' brand."

Source: Europa Press

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