The European Union introduced new phytosanitary requirements that led to this ban. South Africa, the world’s second largest exporter of fresh citrus after Spain, has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization.
Tons of oranges are at risk of rotting and spoiling in containers blocked at European ports as South Africa and the European Union clash in a trade dispute over import rules. South Africa, the world’s second-biggest exporter of fresh citrus after Spain, filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) last month after the EU introduced new phytosanitary requirements, which they say threaten the survival of farmers.
The measures came into force in July when ships carrying hundreds of containers full of South African fruit bound for Europe were already at sea and were blocked on arrival, according to the Southern Association of African Citrus Growers (CGA). “It was a complete and utter disasterCGA CEO Justin Chadwick told AFP. “Exceptional quality food that poses no risk, grows there… It’s truly a disaster!».
The EU rules aim to tackle the potential spread of the false codling moth, an African pest that has an effect on oranges and grapefruit. The EU requires all oranges destined for European tables to be subjected to extreme cold treatment and kept at or below two degrees Celsius for 25 days, which South African farmers say is not necessary, as the country already has high targets for disease prevention.
In a complaint to the World Trade Organization, South Africa argues that the EU’s requirements are “not met”.Not based on scientific data“, what”BiasedAnd excess. They put added pressure on an already proven career. “This will add costs. Now, no producer in the world can afford it“, explains Hannes de Waal, who manages the nearly century-old operation of Sunday River Citrus (South-East).
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