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Chairman of the Port Authority of Castellon sets out his commitment to the citrus fruit sector

16 January 2024

16/01/2024. The Chairman of the Port Authority of Castellon, Rubén Ibáñez, has today held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Farmers, Growers and Livestock Breeders Union, Carles Peris, and its Technical Secretary, Joanma Mesado. The purpose of the get-together called by the Port Authority was to brief the agricultural organisation on the operation of citrus fruit rebates following the concerns raised by citrus fruit sector trade unions about imports of oranges to the European market and also to signal its commitment to working together.

Rubén Ibáñez told the agricultural organisation that the Port of Castellon gives a 40% rebate on citrus imports and exports regardless of where they come from because “tariff regulations mean we can’t make a distinction on these grounds”.

He also pointed out that the current protocol entails inspection of all imported goods in their entirety in the Port of Castellon. “This is an extremely strict protocol to avert the entry of pests and diseases otherwise not found in the EU,” added Rubén Ibáñez to reassure the sector about its disquiet on this issue. “The authorities take every precaution at Border Inspection Posts to prevent pests coming in, oversee the food chain and ensure produce is in good condition.”

In the course of the meeting, Rubén Ibáñez also mentioned that the rebates for the province’s production sectors such as citrus fruit and ceramic tiles are included in PortCastelló’s Business Plan and part of the General State Budget “so they can’t be changed now”. Nevertheless, the Union proposed setting up a working group consisting of representatives of the province’s leading production sectors to jointly analyse the rebates to be given by the Port Authority of Castellon, a suggestion which has been welcomed by PortCastelló.

Rubén Ibáñez shared his support for the sector “this is reflected in the strategic rebates we have put in place which are designed to encourage traffic in this sector and enhance its position in domestic and international markets.”

Finally, the Chairman of the Port Authority offered his unwavering backing at the meeting for the province’s citrus fruit sector while acknowledging the challenges it is grappling with at present including concerns about citrus fruit imports from third countries. He underscored his commitment to the citrus fruit industry and his determination to work closely with local growers to address these challenges.

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