The Spanish lemon sector has joined the chorus of voices calling on supermarkets to help fruit and vegetable growers bear the burden of soaring production costs.
Ailimpo is leading demands for price increases from European retailers to support rising production and transport costs.
“These are difficult times for the fruit and vegetable sector in general and the citrus sector in particular,” said the interprofessional.
“In addition to the growth of European citrus imports from outside the EU, particularly Turkish lemons, there is now an increase in costs throughout the supply chain – from tree on delivery of packaged lemon to supermarkets – due to various external factors. events.
“Faced with this scenario, we demand an increase in prices from European distribution chains as the only way to support the increase in production and transport costs. Otherwise, the consequence will be the loss of the economic sustainability of our activity.
Ailimpo said the unanimous message from producers, cooperatives and exporters of Spanish lemons that cost overruns should be passed on to the final price is very clear.
“As has already happened in other food sectors and with other products, the Spanish lemon sector is clearly asking retailers for a price increase as the only possible formula to support the rising costs that are affecting both the production in orchards and harvesting and packaging. fruits in warehouses: labour, electricity, water, inputs, fuel, etc. “, he specifies.
Ailimpo highlighted the significant investments that the sector has made in recent years to make production more sustainable by reducing its water footprint (to the lowest levels in the Spanish fruit industry) and maintaining a forest of lemon trees that absorbs 360,550 tons of CO2 one year.
“In short, we emphasize the need to raise consumer awareness of the benefits that Spanish lemons provide in terms of environmental and social sustainability, becoming a very conscious and committed sector towards the environment so that now, on the part of European Distribution , the great effort made throughout this period is not valued enough,” he said.
With annual sales of more than 700 million euros, Spain is the world’s leading exporter of fresh lemons.