Markets currently closed to Spanish citrus fruits, such as the US, which maintains tariffs on Spanish fruits, or Russia, with a veto on imports from the European Union since August 2014, are established export destinations for Moroccan citrus fruits. In fact, in this latest campaign, Morocco has shipped 100,000 tons of citrus to the United States, while Spanish exports have stopped due to the barriers imposed by President Donald Trump.
Morocco's new and ambitious agricultural program, Green Morocco Plan II, which includes investments totaling almost 10,000 million Euro to transform about 510,000 hectares into irrigated land, is being implemented while fully competing with other countries in the Mediterranean basin, in addition to South Africa. There is a race to sell oranges and mandarins in Europe, in addition to other horticultural products.
After learning about the new 2020-2030 Green Generation strategy, which was presented last week by the Minister of Agriculture of Morocco and King Mohamed VI (together with a development plan for the water and forest sector called Forests of Morocco), the various Valencian agricultural organizations warn of the "serious risks" for the sector "if Brussels and Madrid do not guarantee fair competition."
For the general secretary of AVA-Asaja, Juan Salvador Torres, "the problem lies in making sure that Morocco ships its products to the EU under the same phytosanitary conditions as Spain." In any case, he warns that Morocco's preferential treatment from the United States and the European Union, both with trade agreements, will continue to harm Spanish citrus interests.
For his part, the general secretary of the Unió de Llauradors, Carles Peris, highlighted the "laxity" of the pact between the EU and Morocco and demanded "strict compliance" in phytosanitary and labor issues, phytosanitary reciprocity and controls for active waste at the shipping ports. "Morocco has made progress with its citrus shipments to Russia and the US in recent years, but Spain continues to export to the same markets. It is not moving forward," said Carles Peris.
For its part, Cooperativas Agro-alimentàries put special emphasis on the "huge investments that an agricultural model such as Morocco's can achieve, while that of the Region still has to address issues like the excessive predominance of smallholding."