South African citrus farmers need their authorities to lodge a grievance towards the European Union on the World Commerce Organisation over the European bloc’s citrus black spot laws which they are saying threaten hundreds of jobs.
Learn/pay attention: EU raises points with SA’s oranges … once more
The measures imposed by the EU in June 2022 require enhanced chilly remedy for citrus exports because of considerations over False Codling Moth, a pest generally present in sub-Saharan Africa, and Citrus Black Spot (CBS), a fungal illness which leaves darkish spots on fruit.
The EU’s plant well being guidelines might minimize South Africa’s orange exports to Europe by 20% this yr, in keeping with the Citrus Growers Affiliation of Southern Africa (CGA).
South Africa’s citrus trade says its present pest and illness management measures are extremely efficient and accuses the EU of protectionism.
Reuters has requested the EU and South Africa’s commerce division for remark. No different main citrus exporters have complained in regards to the EU measures, which relate to pests and illnesses which can be mostly present in South Africa.
South African farmers are presently battling electrical energy and logistics challenges and elevated enter prices and can’t soak up the extra R2 billion ($106.98 million) annual value for CBS threat administration, Deon Joubert, the CGA’s particular envoy on market entry and EU issues, mentioned in a press release.
“The CGA calls on the South African authorities to work with the trade to place a cease to those CBS laws and battle for South African jobs and income. Declaring a WTO dispute is actually a matter of urgency,” Joubert mentioned.
The CGA says the EU citrus market presently sustains a complete of 70 000 jobs in South Africa, producing about $800 million yearly in annual export earnings.
Final yr, South Africa lodged its first ever WTO dispute grievance when it challenged the EU’s phytosanitary necessities for imports of oranges and different citrus merchandise associated to the False Codling Moth.
Consultations are nonetheless underway over that grievance, in keeping with the most recent replace on the WTO web site.