EU threat to SA citrus

There’s another threat to South Africa’s fruit exports, this time the sizeable citrus exports to the European Union.

The EU is considering requiring a 16-day cold treatment for imported oranges, which would raise costs and could hit quality and sales.

The proposed requirement is designed to prevent the entry of false coddling moth from African countries. The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa has described the proposal as “disproportionate and unfeasible”.

It said South Africa is the largest supplier of oranges to the EU and the proposed legislation would pose a major threat to those exports. South Africa was fully committed to “complying with all the necessary measures to protect European production from the threat of any pest or disease”. 

The South African producers encouraged industry stakeholders to object to the proposed new measures. The comment period ended earlier this week, and the industry will await the outcome with some trepidation.