Fruit growers association La Union de Llauradors is warning of problems ahead for lemon farms in Alicante Province, as the sector is facing cheap imports. Local incomes could drop as much as €52 million compared to a normal year.
Two main lemon varieties are grown in the area, namely the Verna and Fino lemons. La Union claims that money from Verna growing will fall by 72% this year, with a drop of 60% for Fino farmers. It appears that increasing supplies of cheap imports from Egypt, South Africa, and Turkey are deflating local demand and prices.
Verna lemons are now only being sold on for 20 cents per kilo, with 40% of the crop remaining to be harvested. Theolivepress.es quoted a La Union statement saying: "For the last two weeks, traders are hardly buying any Verna lemons and a large quantity are just being left on trees and will end up having to be destroyed."
"Unfair competition is threatening the livelihoods of many families in the south of Alicante Province," stated La Union. The association laid the blame at the door of the European Union for striking deals with non-EU countries.