Brazil to have highest phytosanitary risk, EU says
The European Commission has recently sent a statement to the Brazilian authorities, alerted by the considerable number of detections of citrus canker that have been recorded in containers with limes shipped from the port of Santos, in the state of São Paulo, which entered Europe via the United Kingdom.
The disease is already common in some citrus producing areas of Brazil and, as noted by José Antonio García, president of AILIMPO, it could pose as big a threat to the European production as black spot or greening disease.
"Right now, Brazil leads the ranking of detections of harmful organisms in citrus in the EU in the 2016 campaign, far ahead of the rest of the southern hemisphere suppliers," affirms the representative of Ailimpo.
"The issue is naturally raising some major concerns in the sector. It seems that Brazil is set to become one of the countries posing the highest phytosanitary risk for European citrus production.
"Therefore, we are urgently meeting with the European Commission to request stricter control measures on imports of Brazilian citrus ahead of the 2017 campaign," states José Antonio García.
Furthermore, there are also concerns about the import of Brazilian citrus for the processing sector, because it is fruit with an increased risk of disease and there is a greater lack of effective controls at the points of import in Portugal.
"Some suspect that this fruit could end up in the fresh market, which would constitute an additional fraud," he points out. ■