E.U. considers South African citrus import halt, says ambassador

More News Top Stories
E.U. considers South African citrus import halt, says ambassador

South Africa's Ambassador to Belgium Mxolisi Nkosi has said the European Union plans to stop imports of some of the country's fruit, website Timeslive.co.za reported. grapefruit_55655155 small

The ambassador made the comments during an unofficial meeting of South African diplomats in Brussels, who were accompanying Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoane-Mashabane.

"There is a trend of rising protectionism that the EU is using to threaten to block some of our exports, including citrus exports," Nkosi was quoted as saying.

"We are concerned about this. We will speak of this at the meeting and see how we can find a solution."

Nkosi highlighted the South African citrus industry was worth around ZAR6 billion (US$589.5 million) annually, while 40% of citrus exports went to the European Union.

Citrus Black Spot (CBS) is the main reason cited by the European Union to block South African citrus, allowing for a maximum of five interceptions of the disease in a season.

During Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Citrus Growers Association (CGA) of Southern Africa CEO Justin Chadwick told www.freshfruitportal.com there hadn't been a season with fewer than 12 CBS interceptions.

He emphasized the industry was spending "hundreds of millions of rands on control measures on the farms, in packhouses and in the ports in an endeavour to meet EU requirements".

Related stories: South Africa hopes for better EU rules on black spot

Markets remain uncertain for South African citrus exports


Subscribe to our newsletter