The state of alarm decreed by the Government and the limited mobility have not made things easy for citrus fruit pickers working on farms in the Region of Valencia. Due to bureaucratic problems and a lack of coordination between some public administrations, they have been hampered by police controls, sometimes preventing them from reaching their workplaces.
However, throughout this week, the situation has been slowly going back to normal, since the circulation of workers' vehicles is allowed "without limit of occupation", as recognized by the royal decree 463/2020 of the central government as a result of the coronavirus.
Harvesting at a good pace
According to sources at the Ministry of Agriculture, citrus fruits continue to be harvested "at a good pace", although workers must adhere to some safety measures, such as keeping distances or the use of gloves. Sometimes, they are also working with masks.
The regional administration acknowledged that there have been "some incidents" due to lack of coordination with the state security forces, although companies and cooperatives are in contact with the Government Delegation to guarantee the mobility of workers in the fields. In the citrus season, thousands of pickers and workers (mainly women) are employed in warehouses where oranges and mandarins are handled and shipped to the stores.
For its part, the Council of Agriculture has implemented essential services in order to meet the basic needs and guarantee the quality of all food without putting people's health at risk at any time.