Some of Spain’s biggest citrus producers have developed a new tool to help combat illegal plantings of protected varieties following a surge in varietal fraud.
Anecoop, Eurosemillas, AMC’s Genesis Innovation Group, Martinavarro Cañamás Hermanos and Vicente Giner are among the companies that have signed up to the new initiative, titled Go Citrus, which also counts on the backing of associations like Asociex and the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research.
The tool enables them to identify varieties quickly and with total accuracy through molecular markers.
There has been a rise in the detection of illegal plantings of licensed varieties like Orri, Tango and Nadorcott, which achieve a premium in the market compared to traditional mandarins.
So far, the fight against varietal piracy has taken place mainly in the field and in packhouses, through labelling systems and varietal identification of the lots.
The new system will tighten controls at the points of sale, and allow results to be obtained more speedily, meaning that in just 48 hours it will be possible to determine with total accuracy to which variety a particular orange or mandarin belongs.
“Until now there was no clear identification mechanism to defend the rights of farmers who pay royalties, leading to many unresolved conflicts,” explained Juan Carlos Claramonte of the Citrus Research Institute of Castellón,
“Go Citrus will allow us to create a database that will not only serve to combat fraud but to defend consumers.”