Spanish lemon producers have welcomed a European Union decision to introduce tighter controls on Turkish lemon imports.
From 1 January, imports into the EU are being subjected to increased screening at the frontier to ensure they comply with European legislation on pesticide residue levels. The number of consignments being screened on entry has risen from 10 per cent to 20 per cent, all of which will be subjected to laboratory analysis.
Since the start of the 2016/17 campaign in September, the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) has issued eight notified health alerts following the detection of batches of Turkish lemons containing double the concentration of chlorpyrifos permitted under the MRL (Maximum Residue Limit) established in the EU.
“The EU’s decision to double controls on Turkish lemons confirms the existence of the serious management issues facing the Turkish sector, which has proven to be incapable of providing European clients with food safety guarantees,” Spanish lemon and grapefruit interprofessional association Ailimpo said.
“This situation should no doubt be considered by European clients when planning their lemon supply schedules from Turkey in the coming months”.