South Africa is taking action and responding to the attempts to force its oranges to go through the same controls as the fruit from Valencia. And it is doing it in a big way. Next Tuesday, October 22, within the framework of Fruit Attraction (the biggest Spanish fruit and vegetable fair, where almost the entire regional and state-owned orange sector is present), the country will be presenting the project to create the Citrus World Alliance (CWA).
South African exporters want this to be a citrus lobby with which to exert influence on the European Union, given the possible adoption of reciprocity measures in phytosanitary treatments to prevent the arrival of pests. This follows the repeated requests from producers of the Region of Valencia and the rest of Spain, who are concerned about the arrival of pests such as Black Spot.
The delegate in the European Union of the Citrus Grower Association (CGA, the South African association of citrus exporters), Deon Joubert, said in the recently published 2019 Annual Report of the CGA that they have held talks "with possible allies" to negotiate the celebration of the founding meeting during the Madrid fair, which is held from October 22 to 24. With this, South African exporters seek to "expand their representation" beyond their current range of action, says Joubert.
Ailimpo and Freshfel, together with South Africa
In fact, South Africa has already found partners. In Spanish territory, the lemon and grapefruit interprofessional, Ailimpo, is the one serving as spearhead for the penetration of this lobby. The board of directors of the Murcia-based organization, which also brings Alicante producers together, has already decided to back "a joint project initiated by Ailimpo and the CGA to join efforts and attract the world's main producing countries," as stated in an internal report of the entity intended to provide information about the creation of the global lobby.
The future Citrus World Association is adopting "the operations of the current Freshfel citrus group as its starting model." Freshfel is a European fruit and vegetable organization with a list of members that includes large corporations dedicated to production (Chiquita, Del Monte, Dole or Zespri, for example), multinational chemical companies manufacturing pesticides and fertilizers (Basf, Dow or Bayer are integrated), European importers (such as Fresh Trade Belgium, the Dutch Frugiventa and various companies) and distribution chains (including Edeka, one of the most important in Germany).
This gives an idea of the character of this organization, in which Ailimpo is also integrated. In fact, its director, José Antonio García, is also one of the two heads of the Freshfel Citrus group. The state citrus interprofessional Intercitrus has refused to join this organization, even though it has been invited to on several occasions.
Presentation at the Murcia stand
For personal reasons, Intercitrus will not be attending the presentation of the global lobby project, which will take place on the morning of next Tuesday at the stand of the Region of Murcia (Ailimpo has its headquarters there). The invitations, many of which have been issued by the lemon and grapefruit state interprofessional, have been distributed in English; a testament to the globalist approach of the Citrus World Alliance.
The global citrus market continues to show signs of the great changes that it has been going through in recent years, and South Africa wants to establish itself as one of the key players.