The port of Vigo will become the entry terminal to Spain for South African citrus fruits, which will start arriving in September. According to the South African producers' association, shipments of at least 40,000 tonnes per year are expected to depart from Cape Town (South Africa) and Walvis Bay (Namibia) on ships belonging to the MACS shipping company. The containers will be transported to the nearby Vigo Fresh Port facilities, where they will not need to pass through the Border Inspection Post (PIF) at the Guixar quay first, as they would pass directly through the control of the inspectors on this ship.
The news has not been well received by the citrus sector of Castellón. The president of the Plataforma per la Dignitat del Llaurador, César Estañol, stated that this agreement shows that world citriculture is changing rapidly with the consolidation of countries in the southern hemisphere as reference producers. Faced with this reality, he said, "we only have the political solutions, which for now do not arrive. In this sense, the sector has been asking for months for the application of the safeguard clause included in the free trade agreement between the European Union and South Africa.
For his part, the general secretary of the Llauradors Union, Carles Peris, regretted that if shipments begin to arrive in September "there will be an overlap with Castellon's clementines campaign". In addition, he said he fears that a precedent will be set, since ports such as Bilbao and Algeciras are also interested in expanding the flow of agricultural products received from third countries.