Turkish lemons

Spanish lemon and grapefruit association Ailimpo has once again issued a warning to European importers to be vigilant for potential MRL violations of lemons coming from Turkey.

Spanish producers are facing intense competition on the European market thanks to an increase in Spanish Fino production and strong volumes arriving from Turkey.

For the last three years, lemons exported from Turkey into the European Union have been screened at the EU border to check whether they strictly comply with European legislation in terms of pesticide residue levels.

The EU has confirmed that it has issued three health alerts since the start of the 2018/19 season in September, following the detection in Bulgaria of three batches of Turkish lemons with chlorpyrifos present in concentrations that were more than double the EU’s Maximum Residue Limit.

Following these detections the batches were destroyed or re-exported to a non-EU market.

“The three alerts…confirm the existence of serious management issues facing the Turkish sector, which has proven not to be capable of providing European clients with food safety guarantees,” Ailimpo said in a statement,

“This situation should no doubt be considered by European clients when planning their lemon supply schedules from Turkey in the coming weeks.”