The European Union introduced new phytosanitary requirements that led to this blockage. 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 in sealed containers are rotting in European ports and threatening to be destroyed, with South Africa and the European Union embroiled in a trade dispute over import rules. South Africa, the world’s second largest exporter of fresh citrus after Spain, filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization last month when the European Union introduced new phytosanitary requirements that farmers say threaten their very survival.
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The measures took effect in July when ships carrying hundreds of containers full of South African fruit bound for Europe were already at sea, blocking them on arrival, according to the African Citrus Growers Association (CGA). “It is a complete and utter disasterCGA CEO Justin Chadwick told AFP. “Food of exceptional quality, which poses no danger, sprouts there … It really is a disaster!».
EU rules aim to tackle the potential spread of the pseudo-codling moth, an African pest of oranges and grapefruits. The European Union requires a very cold curing of all European table oranges with a temperature of 2°C or less for 25 days, which South African farmers say is not necessary, as the country already has more targeted means to prevent infection.
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In its complaint to the World Trade Organization, South Africa argued that EU requirements “are notNot based on scientific data“, What is “discriminatoryand excessive. And they’re putting additional pressure on an already proven sector. “This will add costs. And now, that’s what no producer in the world can affordExplains Hannes de Waal, who runs the nearly century-old operation Sunday River Citrus (Southeast).
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