FARMERS in the Valencian Community are appealing to retailers and customers to buy Spanish when it comes to oranges.
The Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA) says that cheap imports from countries like Egypt are appearing in the region and may have ‘confusing’ labels that lead consumers to believe they are purchasing local products.
AVA-ASAJA has asked retailers, distributors and buyers to give priority to Valencian and Spanish oranges, which offer an optimum degree of ripeness and guarantee the highest standards of freshness, quality, food safety and environmental sustainability.
With the sharp decrease in the citrus harvest throughout the Mediterranean basin, mainly due to last year’s drought, AVA-ASAJA has detected in recent days that ‘some businesses are introducing shipments from third countries, with the aim of increasing profit margins and using them to push down prices of local citrus fruits’.
“The largest amount of fruits imported at the moment are Egyptian oranges, although there are also oranges from Turkey and tangerines from Morocco,” explained AVA-ASAJA.
The organisation’s president, Cristobal Aguado, has urged the ‘prioritisation of the consumption of our oranges and tangerines’.
“We cannot behave less than the French and Italians, who know how to defend their products and place them ahead of cheaper imports because fruit is produced in miserable working conditions, without environmental checks and the use of materials that prohibited here, ” said Aguado.
Aguado also demanded better and clearer identification of where citrus fruits come from and slammed the European Union for encouraging ‘unfair competition’ by allowing cheap imports.