At the end of July, the Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency, and Ecological Transition, Mireia Mollà, asked the Ministry of Agriculture to request the European Union to declare that the Valencian citrus is a sensitive product. This measure would entail a new regulation that would allow, among other things, prioritizing the Community's product over exports from third countries, such as South Africa.
The announcement was made during a meeting between the heads of the Department of Agriculture, the general director of Relations with the EU, Daría Terradez, MEP Inmaculada Rodriguez Piñero, and practically all the representatives of the citrus sector in the Valencian Community, who also agreed to create a Valencian Citrus Front to defend the interests of the sector in view of the upcoming review of the trade agreement between the European Union and South Africa.
According to the Secretary-General of the Unió de Llauradors, Carles Peris, "cataloging citrus as a sensitive product would better protect and prioritize Castellon's citrus production."
Castellon's citrus sector faces stiff competition from imports and the uncontrolled expansion of cotonet. "This has led to an increase in production costs of at least 14 cents per kilo," Peris stated. One of the areas with the highest incidence is the Plana Baixa region.
La Unió de Llauradors trust the Ministry of Agriculture will transfer the proposal to the European Commission and that it will be approved by the European authorities.