By Lahcen El Youssfi
By Lahcen El Youssfi
Meknes – The export season of Moroccan citrus fruit to the Russia Federation begins in the coming days, and professionals are preparing to avoid difficulties experienced during the last campaign.
New mechanisms of quality control are being implemented to assure suitable conditions for exportation.
During the last campaign, citrus exports started too early, resulting in a disaster . In fact, the first measure undertaken for this campaign, is to initiate the operation at a more suitable date in order to maintain the “Morocco Label.”
Managing high quality and phytosanitary measures is a key factor for maintaining and improving Morocco’s position in citrus market in Russia and at the international level, as well maintaining price competitiveness.
The main qualitative factors related to citrus products that importers monitor are the rate of juice, acidity, coloration, and the gustative of the fruit, that go together with phytosanitary standards.
Competition on the Russian fruits and vegetables market, especially for citrus, is at its peak. Many Mediterranean countries, especially Turkey and Egypt and excluding Spain because of the Russian boycott of agriculture products coming from EU, are trying to gain the greatest portion of this promising market. In this context, all professionals are invited to participate and build confidence in Moroccan citrus by adopting measures and procedures to ensure market sustainability.
At the political level, a meeting took place in Rabat between the Moroccan and Russian Ministers of Agriculture on 16 September. The Ministers worked to develop a strategy for significant trade cooperation between the two countries. This strategy provides an excellent opportunity to maintain sustainable citrus exports, as well as improve the prospects for other Moroccan agriculture products.
The Russian Federation, where Moroccan tangerines have been traditionally popular, accounted for just 4% of Morocco’s agricultural exports in 2008 and 12% in 2013. The figure could reach 15% by the end of 2014, according to professionals.
It’s important to mention that the Russian citrus market is a promising and growing one. Currently, Russia imports about 16 percent of all world citrus products by quantity and is the largest citrus importer among the developing/transitioning countries, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) reports.