By Neelam Rahim
As much as R654 million worth of South African citrus, already en route to Europe, may be destroyed as the European Union’s new coal treatment regulations for citrus are set to kick in on the 14th of July. Last month, the EU Standing Committee on Plants, animal food and feed voted on a new requirement that will force Southern African countries to implement extreme cold treatment to tackle false codling moths (FCM).
Radio Islam speaks to Deon Joubert, the Citrus Growers’ Association’s (CGA) special envoy for market access and EU matters.
Joubert said that South Africa is doing brilliantly well. Unlike other third-world countries, South Africa has been prosperous in combating risk. This was politically motivated by small struggling growers in Spain.
“South Africa are successful importers of really exceptional quality citrus. And they are trying to find protections which we also find peculiar because we’re a campus season productions, we’re not really in the marketing season or window,” he says.
Working very hard trying to solve this and understand that part of the agriculture, the Department of Trade industries are assisting and trying to address this disproportionate and unnecessary inflation. The focus now is on getting the food en route into the EU without any problems.
South Africa is a tiny player in the world market. But the second biggest importer exporter of citrus fruits.
Joubert tells Radio Islam that it’s creating new jobs and assisting young kids. For now, 600 students have been through university or technical college work, mainly from this in the CPG industry.
“And I think the other wonderful thing about citrus is that in the US high foreign income, we went from about 80 billion rand of foreign income in 2014, to about 30 billion last year. So it’s a massive increase. And additionally, it also gave us 45,000 more jobs over the last six years, eight years, In the rural South Africa, which is wonderful,” says Joubert.
Listen to Radio Islam’s podcast below for more on this.