Citrus exports continue despite black spot

The EU previously warned that it would close its borders to SA citrus, should five interceptions of CBS be made. Justin Chadwick, SA Citrus Growers Association (CGA) CEO confirmed that a fifth interception had been made, but that the EU was still open to SA citrus. “We understand there is a meeting scheduled between EU authorities and the SA Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) over this matter,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick said at the end of week 34 of the export season, SA had exported more than 500 000t of citrus to the EU. He said about 121 015t were sent to the UK, 286 751t to northern Europe and 104 864t to southern Europe. “We send between 600 000t and 700 000t of citrus to the EU every season,” Chadwick said.

Scott Dowle, Cape Citrus managing director said no official statement had been made by the EU regarding SA citrus. “Everyone continues to ship product to the EU,” said Dowle. He said that Cape Citrus was sending 40 to 50 containers of 24t each to the EU and he was not aware of anyone who had stopped shipping to the EU.

Dowle said the Dutch Plant Health (DPH) authorities had informed DAFF that they (DPH) were waiting for further action by the European Commission, but that, in the meantime, they would proceed with routine import inspections of any citrus consignments from SA arriving in the Netherlands.