Operators criticize proposals for new PGIs because “they would generate more confusion without arousing commercial interest”.
The relevance in the market is minimal despite operating since 1999.
In the midst of a debate on the proposal to create a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) for the citrus fruits of Nules (Castellón), the latest citrus marketing data under the protection of a PGI show the difficulty of awakening commercial interest despite having this distinctive quality.
So much so that the most relevant PGI in the country, Citrus Valencians, only represents 0.23% of the export, a percentage that would be even lower if the marketing was added to the domestic market and the transformation into juice , report sources in the sector .
And although the PGI Cítricos Valencianos started operating in 1999 and has 3,082 registered producers and a total of 15,547 plots, with a global area of 9,338 hectares, that does not mean that, necessarily, after all the production bears the label of the IGP. In fact, in the best years, the volume of citrus fruit marketed under the Valencia Citrus umbrella has not exceeded 15,000 tons, that is to say, a figure that in no case reaches 0.5% of the total exported.
In the last year in particular , 8,444,864 kilos of citrus fruits from the total of 3,625,000 tons exported were marketed with the PGI Cítricos Valencianos , which represents 0.23%, sources from the citrus sector explained.
However, the assessment made by citrus operators consulted on the implementation of new PGI is negative . “The creation of a new PGI would generate more confusion in the European consumer, who hardly recognizes the PGI Cítricos Valencianos and would hardly value another indication only for the Nules de Castellón”. “The promotional effort to achieve it would be enormous and it would be very complicated to awaken interest before operators,” the same sources add.
At the moment, in the Iberian Peninsula there are three PGIs , the Dean Citrus Valencians, the PGC Clementines of the Terres del Ebre, which was endorsed by the Catalan Generalitat in December 2017 and which is currently paralyzed by the application of 155 and the lack of financial availability of this administration, and Citrinos do Algarve, province of southern Portugal.
“A hypothetical PGI Nules de Castellón would come into direct conflict not only with the PGI Cítricos Valencianos, but also with the PGP Clementines de les Terres del Ebre, which has only registered three types of varieties , among them the clemenules”, indicate consulted citrus sources .
In fact, the clemenules is the variety with the highest percentage of both the Valencia Citrus PGI and the Clementines of the Terres del Ebre. Specifically, in the first 18% of the commercialization, according to the latest data, it is from Nules, which is the most important variety in this IGP.
Similarly, in Clementines de les Terres del Ebre, the share represented by this variety is even stronger , with 80% of the production in this area of Catalonia, which has only 18 registered producers, an area of 198 hectares and eight adhered operators.
Due to the difficulty of having a PGI characteristic of Nules citrus, the variety reigns, due to the legal problems it represents , the latest proposal no longer speaks of a Protected Geographical Indication, but of its own brand integrated within Valencian Citrus. Only time will tell what happens in the future and the usefulness of another IGP or citrus brand.