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Coexphal assumes Russian veto crisis will especially affect next season

Almeria's Association of Fruit and Vegetables Organizations (COEXPHAL) held its Ordinary General Assembly in El Ejido, in which they presented the annual report of activities during the 2013/2014 campaign and the association's financial statements, which were approved. They analysed the campaign results, which were good, and what has happened this year. In this aspect, and regarding the Russian veto, they recognized that its effects on agricultural imports from the European Union (EU) would be felt more sharply over the next year, even though it had already harmed them more than they know. 

According to statistics, direct exports of fruit and vegetables from Almeria to Russia represents only 4% of their exports. However, if one takes into account both direct exports and indirect exports, that is, via other countries like France, Netherlands, and Poland that buy from Almeria and then re-export to Russia, this number increases to 21% of the total exports from the European Union. 

However, COEXPHAL noted that during last season COEXPHAL associated companies sold almost two million tons of fruit and vegetables (exactly 1,983,401,785 kilos). The main countries of destination were, in order of importance, Germany, UK, Netherlands and France. 

Milestones of the 2013/2014 campaign
The most important events that marked the campaign were discussed during the course of the assembly, such as the aforementioned Russian veto, the hailstorm that affected 70 hectares of associates' greenhouses the West, and the New Delhi virus in zucchini that caused a COEXPHAL companies to decrease their production by nearly 10%. 

This virus caused the spring campaign to be delayed, as producers were uncertain if it could affect the melon and watermelon production. The fear of a possible spread of the New Delhi virus led many farmers to plant watermelon instead of melon. 

In April, there was a general fall in prices of all vegetables. This drastic decline was caused by the onset of the summer productions of central Europe, the rising temperatures in origin and the progressive loss of quality of the productions that were already on their last stage. 

When the campaign was about to end, the European Union issued a regulation establishing the criteria for determining the entry price of products from third countries more clearly, so the choice wouldn't be in the hands of the importers, as was happening with the imports from Morocco. This change, which was driven by the industry in collaboration with France and Italy, was very badly received by Morocco, which displayed a fierce diplomatic offensive against the Commission, and was able to get its claims. 

The European Commission reformed the entry prices for imports of tomato, by modifying the method of calculation to include cherry tomatoes, which increased the average price and caused Moroccan tomato exports to the EU to be exempt from paying the additional duty. 

30 years associated to COEXPHAL 
After the assembly, Juan Antonio Petit, president of COEXPHAL, awarded a badge to the presidents of the three companies that, this year, celebrated 30 years of being associated with COEXPHAL. 

The recipients of this award were Bernardo Castillo, president of Acrena, SAT; Manuel Escanez, president of Las Hortichuelas, SAT, and Jose Antonio Brao, manager of San Isidro Labrador, SCA. Juan Colomina, manager of COEXPHAL was also awarded for his 25 years in charge of the association's management and in recognition of his work on behalf of Almeria's horticulture. 


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