The Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGASA) has been appointed a co-chair of the World Citrus Organisation (WCO).
This was announced during the official founding of the WCO, at the international fresh produce trade show Fruit Logistica, in Berlin, on Tuesday.
The Spanish Lemon and Grapefruit Interbranch Association was appointed as the other co-chair of the WCO for a period of two years.
The European Fresh Produce Association Freshfel Europe will coordinate and administer the WCO, while the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development will provide expert market analysis and advice on trends for the citrus industry globally.
The WCO is the first global platform aimed at increasing coordination, dialogue and action between citrus-producing countries around the world.
The founding associations represent about 70% of all citrus growers worldwide, including producers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Uruguay and the US.
The CGASA said in a release on Tuesday that South Africa, as the second-largest global exporter of citrus fruit, played a leading role in the formation of the WCO and through its co-chair role would continue spearheading a new path for the sector.
During the WCO founding meeting, the members all reconfirmed the mandate of the new organisation, which includes discussing common issues affecting citrus producing countries, preparing for market trends for the next decade, exchanging information on production, fostering dialogue on policy issues and promoting research and innovation projects.
The WCO’s immediate focus is to collect production and marketing data for the industry for this season.
A World Citrus Conference is also being planned for either later this year or early 2021.