Valencia oranges on tree

A group of citrus organisations in Andalusia have set up a new association to come up with joint strategies to defend the interests of the region’s citrus sector.

The Citrus Table of Andalusia (CTA) is made up of various agricultural unions, cooperatives, the Huelvan Association of Citrus Growers and Asociafruit, the association of fruit and vegetable producers and exporters of Andalusia.

A joint statement issued after the group met for the first meeting in Seville this week said its objective is to defend the Andalusian citrus sector “in the face of the price crisis it is going through and its serious repercussions for farmers and ranchers in Andalusia”.

The move will be seen as a blow to Spain’s national orange and soft citrus interprofessional, Valencia-based Intercitrus.

Intercitrus has faced growing disillusionment from within the industry for its failure to adequately address the issue is low prices, widely seen as the result of increasing imports from countries like South Africa.

The CTA stated: “Andalusian citrus production continues to progress, contrary to what is happening in other autonomous communities, in which the sector is in clear regression”.

The new group said its first actions would be aimed at consumers, urging them to “look at the labels and give preference to Spanish oranges” over imported fruit.