ASAJA Alicante has warned that certain non-professional operators in the Valencian Community are buying frozen oranges from Andalusia, where storm Filomena affected 30% to 40% of citrus production, at half the price and are exporting them to the European market.
“We are talking about isolated cases, but this type of unfair practice is very worrying. It generates mistrust, definitive loss of customers, and market share. It can seriously damage the reputation of the Spanish orange and end the good prospects of the campaign,” the organization stated.
“We have evidence that some unprofessional companies are filling up to ten trailers of very cheap frozen oranges a day and sending them to European markets. This is a catastrophe because the European consumer will detect it right away. The frozen orange turns bitter quickly. This can derail our good trajectory and the good prospects we have for this campaign. The European market could close its doors to the Spanish orange, which would lead to a drop in prices," stated the Vice President of Young Farmers ASAJA Alicante, Jose Vicente Andreu.
The organization emphasized that most exporting companies acted correctly and were very professional. However, they warned that a few companies were carrying out this practice.
"These operators seek to flood the market and lower prices because they refuse to pay the almost 0.40 cents per kilo that the citrus is currently worth. We ask the Ministry of Agriculture to urgently establish the necessary control mechanisms to avoid the irreparable damage this would have on our reputation, the loss of market share and customers it would entail, and to prevent this from becoming structural damage. The Ministry should carry out inspections in warehouses to verify the origin and status of the fruit that will be exported. They should make sure that the frozen fruit is discarded and that only the fruit in optimal conditions is marketed and exported," stated Andreu.