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LA UNIÓ de Llauradors

"Periquita clementine producers suddenly forced to pay royalties"

LA UNIÓ de Llauradors (Growers' Association) has issued a complaint about the "absolute helplessness of citrus growers of the variety Periquina, who are now being asked to pay unfair royalties." In this regard, LA UNIÓ has expressed its support for growers in La Plana belonging to the Provincial Periquina Growers Association (APAP) and "affected by an illogical situation that has arrived overnight."

LA UNIÓ affirms that "we don't understand how growers who have been cultivating the Clementine called Periquina for a very long time, in some cases for more than twenty years, are now legally required to pay a royalty for a variety registered as Sando."

The Periquina is a mutation of the Fina clementine, which was first introduced in 1988 in Nules and was grafted in Castellon by many growers to complement the province's varietal range.

According to this organization, the cultivation of this variety was totally free, with no fees or royalties, so it spread rapidly in the region of La Plana Baixa. It arrived a little later than the Clemenules, allowing it to reach some really interesting prices. Apparently, it has been marketed for years under the name Fina clementine or Hernandina with higher prices due to its better quality.

"The situation radically changed last year, when growers found out that there was a protected variety registered as Sando, that they no longer had the Periquina and that they had to pay more than 13,200 Euro per hectare to cultivate a variety which they were already growing for years without any problems."

The conflict has gone so far that the issue has reached the Court of Instruction No. 1 of Nules, which has been asked to resolve it.

LA UNIÓ questions the validity of the registration of a variety which allegedly violates one of the three legal principles required for it to be registered: to be different from any previously existing variety. For this reason, it will ask the regional administration, in this case the IVIA, for a full report of the situation and, if necessary, it will fight the parties accountable.

José Ramón Urbán, head of citrus at LA UNIÓ, expressed his concern about the fact "that the situation has come to this, and warns that those who have positioned themselves against the growers are making a big mistake, because I am convinced that, in time, the justice system will agree with the growers' position."

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