The European Commission has approved tighter controls on pesticides in Turkish lemons and grapefruits imported into the EU. Now, three out of every ten trucks with these products from Turkey will be tested for pesticides.
This comes after the Spanish association Ailimpo expressed concern over the release of official data showing a significant increase this season in the number of shipments of Turkish goods containing pesticides in excess of the official limits set by EU regulations.
This prompted amendments to EU Regulation 2019/1793 increasing the control percentage from 10% to 30% for grapefruits and from 20% to 30% for lemons. This measure will come into force in early January and will be valid for six months.
Recall that Turkey is one of the main exporters of citrus fruits to Russia. Thus, in 2020/21, Turkey exported almost 620,000 tons of lemons worth $296 million, which is 38% more in volume terms than in the previous year. Export was carried out mainly to Russia, Iraq and Ukraine. In the 2020/21 season, Turkey’s grapefruit exports reached almost 161,000 tons worth $89 million. The top export destinations were Russia, Poland and Ukraine. However, export volumes decreased compared to the previous year due to an increase in the number of checks for residues in products sent to Europe.