Jose Antonio Garcia, the director of the inter-branch organization Ailimpo, which brings together producers, handlers, processors, and marketers of lemon and grapefruit in Spain, stated on the organization's 24th anniversary that the sector's biggest issue was that it wasn't exporting much lemon outside Europe, as exports outside the EU only accounted for 4% of exports.
"In an uncertain and complex context due to the sharp increase in costs, which is beginning to test the patience of producers, lemon and grapefruit consumption is good. However, organic production shows signs of stagnation," he stated.
The director of Ailimpo said there are new plantations entering production, pests coming from citrus imports from third countries, water availability issues, and the pressure exerted by customers trying to pay lower prices.
Garcia acknowledged that surpassing these hurdles wasn't going to be easy and asked the different administrations to apply the Food Chain Law correctly, adequate control of imports from third countries, positive discriminatory taxation, an adequate subsidy for desalinated water, lower energy tariffs, as well as the improvement of agricultural insurance and the relationship with supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Spain is a world leader in the sale of fresh and organic lemon and the world's second-biggest lemon processor, generating a turnover of 700 million euro per year and 23,000 jobs in the field, handling warehouses, and the agri-food industries, stated the president of Ailimpo, Antonio Hernandez.