Argentine citrus cooperative members and businessmen are seeking alternatives to redirect orange sales after the EU suspended imports due to the alleged interception of Argentine shipments affected by the black spot disease. In the NEA region, the Chamber of Citrus Exporters of Northeast Argentina (Cecnea) is working on the opening of new destinations, such as the United States, and the expansion of sales to the Middle East and Asia. They are also waiting for the European Union to be more flexible on imports, according to a negotiation from the Foreign Ministry.
Santiago Caprarulo, president of Cecnea, confirmed that progress was being made in the process of opening the US market. "The stage of inspection of farms, packaging, and pest analysis has already been completed. Now it's a political decision because Donald Trump won't do anything to affect local producers," he said.
He also pointed out that, thanks to the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU was going to admit the fruit that had left the country up until August 16 and was in transit to the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal, and Lithuania. "It's not an easy situation," Caprarulo stressed.
He also said that last week, Jorge Neme, the secretary of International Economic Relations; Carlos Paz, the president of Senasa, and Julian Echazarreta, the secretary of Agriculture, had sent another letter to the EU commissioner requesting that the NEA be excluded from the ban and, in particular, that Argentine shipments of oranges with phytosanitary certificates prior to August 16 be allowed to enter the EU.
The short-term options, while producers receive an answer from the markets, seem to be to focus on other markets, allocate a good part of the production to national consumption, and to the industrialization of the fruit.