After the complaints of agricultural associations during the previous citrus campaign, when fruit of other origins, such as South Africa, was available on Spanish shelves instead of domestic fruit, the biggest nationwide distributors seem to have raised their awareness on the issue.
An example of this is El Corte Inglés, which decided to give a distinctive mark to the mandarins harvested in different parts of Spain in recent weeks. The company, which regularly works with powerful firms in the sector, such as Martinavarro or Torres, has added the "New Domestic Harvest" seal to citrus packages.
In addition, sources from El Corte Inglés have confirmed that this year, the presence of oranges and mandarins on their shelves will be more prominent, given their "sensitization and desire to protect the national production."
A few days ago, Mercadona also announced that "more than 90%" of all the oranges they sell are of domestic origin, and that the marketing of South African citrus it is a "temporary solution," given the lack of local products. Sources of the citrus sector acknowledged that this month is the most delicate for supermarkets, which must decide between the early Valencian clementines and the Satsumas and the late clementines from the southern hemisphere, which have "better organoleptic conditions."
For its part, Carrefour has decided to start marketing clementines from Andalusia and the Region of Valencia, which are sold for 1.25 Euro / kilo.
The aforementioned representatives of the citrus sector confirm that all these examples are proof of the fact that there is a trend change in the Spanish retail sector. "There is plenty of interest in highlighting the difference between imported fruit and the domestic, fresher fruit."
In January 2017, the Citrus Management Committee came into the spotlight due to the prevailing unease surrounding the complaints from agricultural organizations. Although the committee denied the presence of South African citrus during this time of the year, it asked companies to correct "the errors in labeling," which was denounced as a "recurring problem."