SA cit­rus con­cerns from EU

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

SOUTH Africa’s cit­rus in­dus­try will seek to ex­pand amid an EU threat to ban cit­rus im­ports from the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Tina Joe­mat-Pet­ters­son .

“It is dif­fi­cult to com­ply with the ( EU) re­quire­ments, but this will not de­ter us from grow­ing the in­dus­try,” she told re­porters in Joburg yes­ter­day.

The min­is­ter said the EU was con­cerned about cit­rus black spot – fun­gus – on fruit the coun­try ex­ported to Europe.

Other is­sues in­cluded ship­ping and stor­ing tem­per­a­ture re­quire­ments.

“This con­cern and other is­sues raised by the EU are be­ing ad­dressed with them. Their door re­mains open and they have shown us the good­will to work on this.”

Pi­eter Nortje, of the Cit­rus Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of SA, said: “The EU is a big mar­ket for us and los­ing it would threaten the in­dus­try.”

Forty per­cent of South Africa’s cit­rus fruit ex­ports went to the EU. – Sapa

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