Amidst all the challenges facing Argentina’s citrus sector, they had some good news with the first Argentinian organic lemons in 20 years exported to Europe this season. Gonzalo Díaz Lozano, from CMZ Citrus in Argentina: “Thanks to the newly opened European market, we exported 45,000 kg of organic lemons to the Netherlands and Germany. However, the approval of organic lemons for export from Argentina to the EU was granted almost at the end of the Argentine season, so we were unable to export larger volumes, even though we were requested to do so.”
(left) Brothers Gonzalo Díaz Lozano, with their mother Cecilia Martínez Zuccardi and (right) Ramiro Díaz Lozano of CMZ Citrus.
CMZ Citrus is a family-owned Argentine company that produces, packs, and exports lemons without postharvest treatment and organic lemons to the world. “In 2023, we became the first and only Argentine company to export organic lemons to the European Union in over 20 years. At CMZ Citrus, I work alongside my brother Ramiro Díaz Lozano, and my mother, Cecilia Martínez Zuccardi. We maintain a young, dynamic, and entrepreneurial spirit, and we have a broad vision to be constantly renewed. We carry out handcrafted labour, from the beginning in our tree nurseries to the finished box with the best lemon to be marketed worldwide.”
He says they received good prices in a fairly empty European market this season. “The prices were very attractive, and the excellent condition in which our fruit arrived resulted in a great outcome for our clients and us. We were asked to develop long-term programs so that we can continue working with our organic lemons in this market. This year, there was good demand for lemons compared to last year. Peru and South Africa are regular suppliers of organic lemons to the European Union. However, Peru had problems with the El Niño phenomenon and South Africa suffered heavy rains and floods that complicated their phytosanitary situation. This led to good demand for our Argentine organic lemons.”
Díaz says it is a source of pride for CMZ Citrus “to have reached a market with high standards such as the European one, offering fresh, healthy and clean products with organic certification. This achievement inspires us to continue striving and increasing our exports next season. We would like to express our gratitude to the efforts made by the national directorates of Plant Protection (DNPV) and Agrifood Safety and Quality (DNICA), as well as to the General Coordination of International Relations of Senasa, within the framework of the current equivalence with the European Union, for making possible the reopening of this market. Our export season ended about a month ago, so we're already gearing up for next year, when we'll ship our organic lemons from April to August, doubling our US exports and aiming for a long season in the organic EU market,” concludes Díaz.