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Rubén Ibáñez confirms his support for farmers in their protests at the access gates to the port

15 February 2024

Protestas agricultores

2024-02-15. The Chairman of the Port Authority of Castellon, Rubén Ibáñez, joined farmers this morning during their protests at the access gates to the Port of Castellon where they gathered to call for greater plant health control inspections for produce from third countries and to object to the European Union’s agreements.

Rubén Ibáñez, who was accompanied by the port’s director Manuel García, said he understood the “legitimate protests against the EU’s policies which are being rolled out and how harmful they might be for Valencian agriculture.” He also mentioned the need to improve inspections in ports “such as Rotterdam which send goods to the rest of Europe’s ports.” However, he was adamant that goods inspections in the Port of Castellon “work perfectly well” in terms of orange imports.

He also announced that he would be suggesting a review of the current rebates for the province’s production sectors including the citrus fruit industry, at the Port Authority of Castellon’s Board of Directors meeting, which is scheduled for next Friday.

“We have always been open to dialogue with farmers’ organisations,” argued Rubén Ibáñez, who held two meetings with them prior to the protests of the last few weeks.

“At the Board Meeting, a resolution will be adopted to inform the directors of the possibility of addressing this issue in the next Business Plan,” he said. He also noted that the current Board of Directors has not been able to alter the rebates because “there is no General State Budget and therefore no Business Plan which is where they are implemented.” He added that “the last approval was in 2022, specifically 40% for containerised citrus goods.”

Rubén Ibáñez pointed out that “at the end of the day, we are a public service, and we are bound by what is in the general interest.”

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