Today, Waldyr Promicia, the President of Abrafrutas, issued the following statement:
Dear Associates and Lemon Exporters,
I was informed by the executive team of Abrafrutas based in Brasília that, in a meeting with the Director of the Plant Health area of MAPA Dr. Carlos Goulart, on the subject of suspensions of lemon exporting companies due to detections of citrus canker in exported or exported cargo, a process triggered yesterday in the late afternoon, the following information was made available:
- DG SANTE, the EU phytosanitary control agency, reported to MAPA a total of 42 detections of citrus canker in lemon loads from Brazil, the result of the sum of detections from the end of the second half of 2021 plus the occurrences in 2022 until Never in the history of the relationship between Brazil and the EU in citrus exports, such lack of control had been detected;
- The same agency asked MAPA to explain the reasons for this lack of control over a regulated quarantine pest where the standard should be zero and which corrective and punitive measures would be implemented;
- MAPA verified the interstate transit of lemons in trucks to other states with unloading in territory considered free of citrus canker for export purposes;
- It was also verified by MAPA the leakage of cargo for export from egress points considered more demanding in the inspection;
- Results of audits carried out by the official inspection services this week at packing houses showed containers ready for export with fruits contaminated by cancer, showing a high risk of the problem continuing;
Faced with such situations, MAPA, without prior consultation with the private sector, decided:
- Suspend for 60 days companies and Consolidation Units that have had any detection of citrus canker from the end of 2021 to date;
- Intensify inspections at all inspection points and lemon egress throughout the country, considering lemon as a “red channel” in exports;
- Maintain audits and inspections in producing regions in packings and production units;
- Re-register all UPs and UCs from August 1st for acid lime exports to the EU;
It was also informed that political pressure has already begun to slow down inspections and other related issues, however, MAPA is doing what is necessary to prevent the closing of the EU market for Brazilian lemons and also stoppages in the export processes of the lemon. lemon and other agricultural products to the EU and other countries.
However, MAPA will not give up protecting the lemon production chain in the continuity of exports to the EU, as well as the reputation of the National Plant Protection Organization of Brazil.
Considering that formal notifications to companies and UCs about the suspensions are still in progress and that MAPA has already signaled to Abrafrutas executives in Brasília to maintain the rigor and application of the aforementioned measures, it is up to everyone in the sector to pay the utmost attention and respect legislation in force on citrus canker.