The Navelina orange campaign is disastrous in the Valencian Community and prices are ruinous for the producers. This is especially bad because this variety accounts for almost 40% of the country's total orange production and it's practically the only orange that is marketed before the end of the year. Producers have stopped harvesting it and, in the best-case scenario, they are selling it at a loss to the juice industry at a price that ranges between € 0.05 and 0.08/kg, La Unió de Llauradors stated.
According to the organization, this situation is mainly due to the competition from the South African product in stores and supermarkets and to a delay in marketing. "The importing companies did not buy Spanish oranges until they ran out of the product imported from the Southern Hemisphere. In addition, now our orange has to compete with the Egyptians and Turks who have flooded the European supermarkets with very cheap offers oversaturating the market," La Unió stated.
"We expected to harvest about 660,000 tons, which is a similar volume to the one there was last season when there was a higher demand and consumption due to the pandemic. Consumption has declined in countries that buy our oranges, such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands because, to date, temperatures have not been too low."
La Unió is concerned because it is very likely that the problems will spread to the rest of the orange varieties. La Unió proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture manage crisis prevention measures established in the Common Organization of Agricultural Markets so as to avoid an excess supply in the market that plunges prices further and so that citrus growers are compensated for the losses they have suffered in these last two months and the possible losses that may be caused to the rest of the orange varieties.
The proposals include aid to Producers Organizations in the citrus sector that waiver collecting certain quantities of citrus, as well as compensation for producers who are not members of said organizations and also do so. They also proposed establishing a de minimis aid, recognized in current European regulations, for professional citrus producers to face the serious economic crisis in the sector.
Likewise, Delegated Regulation (EU) No. 2017/891 establishes the possibility of payment-in-kind by beneficiaries of free distribution to fruit and vegetable processors as long as the Member State where the payment is made has established rules that guarantee that the processed products are actually intended for consumption by the final beneficiaries.
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