Spain: Valencian citrus growers protest with orange vests

The disastrous citrus campaign currently underway in Castellon and the Region of Valencia has again resulted in producers taking the streets on Monday. The organization that called the protests, the Platform for the Dignity of the Llaurador, says that this is already "the worst campaign in decades" for Valencia's citrus sector.

Protests were held in many places across the region, as in the Alqueries, where some 500 people gathered, according to municipal sources; in the Vall d'Uixó, where the figure stood at around 800 people; in Nules, with a similar figure; or in Burriana, where an orange cemetery served as a metaphor to illustrate the death of a traditional crop in the area.

The president of the Provincial Federation of Agricultural Producers and Ranchers of Castellon (Fepac-Asaja), José Vicente Guinot, showed his "satisfaction" with the result of this call for protests and wished to thank the presence of the politicians who participated in the rallies. In his opinion, this shows that society "is aware of the problem" and expressed hope that "this is a first step to solving the problems affecting the Valencian citrus industry."

The protests also served once again to demand reciprocity in the rules regulating the fruit shipments from outside the European Union; the application of the safeguard clause against the importation of South African oranges, or the application of measures to alleviate the situation in Castellon.

In an event in the Vall d'Uixó, the President of the Government of the Region of Valencia, Ximo Puig, called on the Government to adapt the European directive on the value chain to Spanish legislation as soon as possible, because the difference between the price that the grower receives and what the consumer pays is "incomprehensible". Puig also defended the need for a restructuring of the sector and for Europe to better understand Mediterranean agriculture. "We want reciprocity in phytosanitary issues," said the president, who said that Valencians are not going to enforce protectionism and want to export and sell, "but want to do so on equal terms."


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