No more concessions to South African citrus growers, warns Spain

Image: La Moncloa

Spain has asked the EU not to offer any more concessions to South African citrus growers.

Faced with the upcoming review of the economic partnership agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Southern African development community, including the Republic of South Africa, Agriculture Minister Luis Plana and Trade and Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto have addressed a joint letter to the Commissioners for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski; Commerce, Valdis Dombrovskis, and Health, Stella Kyriakides.

The citrus sector in Spain is worth €2.5 billion per year on average. Citrus fruit account for 4.9 per cent of Spanish agricultural sector and 32.5 per cent of all fruit grown in Spain. Spanish citrus growers harvest 60 per cent of total EU production, which places Spain as the main citrus producer in the EU and the fifth largest in the world.

In the letter, Planas and Maroto said that Spanish production harmed by a lack of reciprocity in trade agreements. “The next review of the agreement should not offer additional concessions for citrus imports,” Maroto and Planas argue.

Spanish production and export of citrus fruits are of crucial importance for the agri-food sector as a whole and have a direct impact on the rural economies in Spain. Since the agreement was signed, South Africa has notably ramped up production, they added.

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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.


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