South Africa seeks to stop passage of damaging EU cold treatment rules

South Africa launches campaign to stop passage of damaging EU cold treatment rules for citrus

South Africa launches campaign to stop passage of damaging EU cold treatment rules for citrus

The Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa (CGA) has launched a campaign urging industry stakeholders to object to proposed EU legislation that could impose a cold treatment requirement on orange imports to the bloc.

The legislation is aimed at preventing the entry of False Codling Moth (FCM) from African countries and would require a "drastic" mandatory cold treatment of 0°C to -1°C for at least 16 days, according to the CGA.

The group says that the proposed measure is "disproportionate and unfeasible", and would create higher prices for EU consumers while also possibly leading to supply  chain gaps.

The Have Your Say campaign is urging industry stakeholders in the EU to create an account on the European Commission's website and provide feedback on the proposed legislation. The deadline for submissions is March 10, 2022.

"To supply EU customers and consumers with fresh, high quality and affordable oranges, South Africa imports are a necessity in light of being the largest citrus supplier to the EU and is largely counter-seasonal to EU citrus production," the CGA said.

"Critically, the EU market access also helps sustain 120 000 jobs in the local industry.  However, new proposed EU regulations on False Coddling Moth (FCM) pose a major threat to South African orange exports to the EU, which could lead to large gaps in the supply chain and higher prices for EU consumers. 

"As a reputable and trustworthy supply chain for more than 100 years, South Africa has remained fully committed to providing EU consumers with healthy, safe and sustainably produced oranges, including complying with all necessary measures to protect European production from the threat of any pest or disease."

The new legislation, it says, would negatively impact on the quality of the huge volume of all SA oranges arriving in the EU and would effectively kill all exports of organic oranges to the EU.

"Once you lodge your comments on the EU website, please forward it to the following confidential CGA email address, where only the number of objections will be used to effectively motivate the voting down of the mooted cold treatment: haveyourFCMsay@cga.co.za.

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