Concern over ban of SA fruit from Europe
by LERATO MMUTLE
SOUTH Africa’s citrus farming industry has expressed concern over the ban on the country’s fruits from the European Union (EU) as it was likely to compromise the creation of jobs in the sector.
Unions described the ban as “unfair.”
Speaking to MetroSA News, the country’s Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), Katishi Masemola, accused the EU of using the “so-called black spot” in
oranges to ban the citrus.
He said the move by the EU had compelled FAWU to urge the South African
government to intervene against EU’s policy.
Masemola said FAWU was in full support to concerns raised by the country’s
citrus industry against the EU ban.
“Given this, FAWU calls on South Africa government to leave no stone unturned in confronting the EU on its unfair trade protectionist stance in the name of health and safety standards because this black spot argument is not even taken serious by the United Kingdom.
“As FAWU, we will call on our fraternal unions in the EU to put pressure on their EU member-states’ governments to move away from such trade relations practices with South Africa and countries from the developing world,” Masemola said.
South Africa exports an annual 600 000 tonnes of citrus fruits to Europe each year with an estimated annual revenue of $1.3 billion (about R13,9 billion).
The citrus industry employs more than 60 000 workers locally. The sector provides other indirect jobs to the country.
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