The Unió de Llauradors has denounced the “disastrous” lemon campaign that is taking place in the province, with losses that could exceed 52 million euros due to the fall in prices. Thus, the organization assures that the income of the producers of the Verna variety has fallen by 72% and those of the Fino variety, by 60%.
La Unió points out that the Verna variety, which is the one currently in harvest, “has not managed to straighten out the season and has gone from bad to worse.” The 33% increase in the harvest over the previous season, especially due to the entry into production of the new lemon plantations, and the increase in imports from Turkey, South Africa, Egypt or Mercosur are factors that have influenced this development of the bell.
At the moment the prices offered in the field are around 0.20 euros per kilo and only commercially good fruit is harvested. The situation reaches the point that still 40% of the harvest remains to be harvested, which was usually destined for the citrus industry. However, for the last two weeks the trade has practically not bought lemons, since the little that the industry can absorb is reserved for its warehouse destruction. Faced with this situation, a large amount of Verna lemon is being left on the trees, forcing producers to throw them to the ground and destroy them, according to these sources.
In Spain, according to the interprofessional Ailimpo, more than 25% of the lemon harvest is destined for processing, an activity in which it occupies the second place in the world ranking. The Unió wonders if the trade agreements of the European Union with third countries, such as Mercosur or South Africa, are not affecting the progressive dismantling of our citrus processing industry “in favor of the powerful Brazilian industry that has the three largest industries. transformation worlds and that it has already announced its intention to settle in our country to conquer the EU. ”
In this sense, the agrarian organization claims “that no commercial agreement be signed without first having a study of its effects, as well as safe and rigorous protocols to prevent the entry of pests and demand the same production standards.”
The Fino lemon campaign began in the producing areas of southern Alicante with two weeks delay compared to usual, a circumstance that, together with the entry into production of new plantations, led to the accumulation of a large supply at the beginning of the season. La Unió already described the Fino campaign as bad at the beginning and it ended in a disastrous way. Much fruit was left on the tree as the industry was not able to absorb all of the lemon. The price in the field already oscillated between 0.16 and 0.18 € / kg in March, which represented a decrease of 60% in relation to last season.
All these data show, in the opinion of La Unió, that “the lemon bubble has deflated and that if growth is not planned in an orderly manner and imports fall with unfair competition, there is a serious risk for a sector from which many live families in the south of Alicante “.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.