Wednesday 9th November 2022 · Mike Smith
The president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, has appealed for unity to protect the citrus sector and revealed the launch of a promotional campaign to boost the consumption of citrus fruit throughout Spain.
He made the comments whilst attending the first cut of 2022-2023 Valencian orange harvest, an important symbolic act that was also attended by Isaura Navarro, the regional secretary for Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition.
The national campaign will be launched next week and will highlight the health qualities of citrus fruit in order to increase consumption levels, including throughout the Comunidad Valenciana.
Puig said that the 2022-2023 harvest is expected to be a complex one due to the large supply of fruit that is expected in Europe but explained that competitors such as South Africa must now meet the same conditions as Valencian growers. a historic step that had never been in place before and has been achieved from unity of action. He said that the orange sector is important to the Valencian economy and therefore must be viable and profitable, highlighting the need to improve both its professionalism as well as agrarian structures. This should be achieved with the support of all administrations.
With respect to production, it is expected that, despite the adverse weather, the harvest will top some three million oranges, and although this is still a decrease in production compared to the previous season, the reduction will be half of that experienced nationwide. The Valencian countryside produces some 2% of all the citrus fruits grown worldwide and provides some 14% of worldwide citrus exports.
Support for Valencian farmers from the Generalitat Valenciana has increased by some 77% since 2015 in addition to the 25 million euros in direct aid for citrus growers and the increase in agricultural insurance fund to 40 million euros, given the difficulties caused by climate change, the war in Ukraine, and the rise in energy prices.
Mercadona to buy 200,000 tons of Spanish citrus fruit
The supermarket chain Mercadona plans to buy around 220,000 tons of oranges, mandarins, lemons and grapefruit from Spanish producers during the 2022-23 campaign. The largest volume will be of oranges, which is estimated to reach 150,000 tons, while mandarins will be more than 50,000 tons, lemons 17,000 tons and grapefruit 1,500 tons
Mandarins are available in bulk and in bags of 1 or 2 kilos, in addition to mandarins with leaves in baskets. In the case of oranges, they will be offered both in bulk and in bags of 3 to 5 kilos.
The different varieties of citrus fruits that Mercadona will sell will come from the Comunidad Valenciana, Andalusia, the Region de Murcia, Catalonia and the Canary Islands. In the case of the Comunidad Valenciana, Mercadona and its suppliers will buy between 90,000 and 100,000 tons of citrus from 1,700 local farmers.
Mercadona’s commitment to the primary sector in Spain has been a solid one for some years and than 90% of the total oranges it sells have been of Spanish origin.