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Top 5 -yesterday
- “I don’t know how blueberry farmers are going to survive”
- Shelf-life extension technology reduces brown stems in grapes
- Avocados Australia looks at export markets as growers brace for another oversupply situation
- "The recent price of Chilean cherries is lower than the same period last year"
- Israel’s 2022-2023 citrus season estimated to be lower and challenging
Top 5 -last week
- Growing potatoes 'in thin air' could increase profits up to 20 percent
- More early South African grapes kept locally
- Early stonefruit, perhaps early grapes as well
- “You don’t only have to be knowledgeable about the crop, but you also have to know how to work with others"
- Dutoit opens new Cherry Time™ packhouse with a ‘cherrific’ crop
Top 5 -last month
"Import ban on citrus smells like protectionist measure"
Black spot is a fungal disease in citrus fruit that occurs around the world in specific places with a subtropical climate. The fungus causes small black lesions on fruits which makes the product difficult to sell, although the damage is purely cosmetic and the eating quality of fruit is not affected. There is no health hazard either. Trees do not die from this disease, as is the case with some other citrus diseases like Citrus Sudden Death that killed millions of citrus trees in Brazil. For such diseases, strict precautions would be justified.
The black spot issue nevertheless has a major economic impact. Citrus growers in South Africa in particular have been seriously duped by the situation. In November 2013 the first stop on citrus exports from certain parts of South Africa was initiated under threat of a ban by the European Food Safety Authority. This pattern was repeated in subsequent years. In 2014 and 2015, South African citrus growers stopped exporting in September after ‘hits’ were found in a minimal number of export lots.
In the meantime the price tag of the risk management system has expanded to ridiculous levels, all at the expense of the growers. Strangely enough, imports from South America were not banned, although black spot interceptions occurred twice as often as on South African fruit. According to EU Europhyt reports, from March to September 2015, twenty-six interceptions occurred in shipments from Argentina and Uruguay, while only twelve interceptions occurred in shipments from South Africa.
Volkert Engelsman, director of Eosta, importer of organic fruit from both continents, comments: "The import ban is disputable from a scientific point of view. The disease cycle of the fungus is of such a nature that the disease cannot spread to trees from the lesions contained on mature fruit. Furthermore an international expert panel of scientists pointed out in 2013 that there is no risk of transmission to European climates. The fungus simply does not occur in areas with a Mediterranean climate."
Engelsman adds: "The Western Cape province in South Africa has a Mediterranean climate and has been growing lemons for eighty years. The Eastern Cape is an area where black spot occurs and has also been growing lemons for eighty years. There is no restriction on citrus movements between these two areas. Yet black spot has not managed to establish itself in the Western Cape, not in eighty years time."
Engelsman therefore asks the obvious question: "South Africa and Spain are the largest citrus producers in the world. Seeing that only imports from South Africa are affected, one wonders if this is really a sanitary measure, or a disguised trade barrier. It looks a lot like the EU wanting to protect southern European citrus growers. At the same time one wonders why citrus from Argentina has not been stopped in spite of higher hit rates on smaller quantities."
For more information:
Eosta / Nature & More
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Other news in this sector:
- 2019-11-29 Clementine industry too fragmented
- 2019-11-28 Grapefruit harvest started in Turkey
- 2019-11-27 Citrus industry generates billions in exports despite bruising year
- 2019-11-26 Late overseas citrus on the rise
- 2019-11-25 Leaved clementines are synonymous with freshness and high quality
- 2019-11-22 "Navel crops from South Jiangxi, China are small in size due to dry weather"
- 2019-11-21 Ultra-thin layer of seal packaging increases citrus shelf-life up to 40%
- 2019-11-20 "Canada, Asia, and the Middle East are our most important markets"
- 2019-11-19 "Delayed harvest of Greek organic citrus"
- 2019-11-18 China: Navel orange production declines by 30% in Hengyang, Hunan
- 2019-11-15 Texas red grapefruit season commences, big sizes expected
- 2019-11-14 Memorably bad season for South African soft citrus in Russia
- 2019-11-13 Clementines: Real test of prices will take place in a few weeks time
- 2019-11-12 "Oranges from Guangdong, China will be available early"
- 2019-11-11 "Indonesia is currently the best export market for our Chinese mandarins"
- 2019-11-08 Tougher times for South African citrus growers and exporters during past season
- 2019-11-07 Heat in spring has reduced Israel easy peeler crop by 30%
- 2019-11-06 "Retailers like to work with specialist companies"
- 2019-11-05 Turkish mandarin season started slow, expected to pick up pace soon
- 2019-11-04 "Larger volume of small Chinese oranges this year"