South African orange exports to the European Union (EU) are predicted to decline by 20% this year as a result of what the CEO of the Citrus Growers Association of South Africa (CGA) calls "unfair" regulations.
Justin Chadwick warns that approximately 80,000 tonnes of oranges may not reach European supermarket shelves due to the stringent pest control measures introduced in 2022.
These regulations require exporters to subject their citrus fruits to special cooling treatments, intended to combat the false codling moth and citrus black spot.
The new rules mandate that oranges be cooled below 2 degrees Celsius for 20 days before shipping.
Chadwick argues that the regulations are discriminatory and unjust, imposing an estimated $75 million (£60 million) investment in new technology and storage on citrus growers.
The CGA intends to raise concerns regarding these regulations at the upcoming African Union-European Union Agriculture Ministerial Conference in Rome, fearing a potential $26 million (£20 million) blow to South Africa's orange industry.