In the current unprecedented context caused by the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the citrus industry has stepped up its efforts to ensure the continued supply of safe, healthy and high-quality citrus for consumers worldwide. The global citrus sector has focused on ensuring the protection of workers across the chain, maintaining citrus production and supply worldwide, and ensuring that consumers have access to citrus, essential fruits for a nutritious diet and tasty.
Since the outbreak in China occurred, this unprecedented crisis has had a profound impact on the functioning of global markets and supply chains, and the citrus sector is no exception. In this scenario, and on behalf of the citrus-producing countries, the World Citrus Organization (WCO) reaffirms the sector’s firm commitment to continue supplying safe, high-quality and healthy citrus throughout the world. This is particularly important given the high nutritional value of these products, especially their high vitamin C content. Among its many functions, vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
The coronavirus crisis has created a series of challenges for the global citrus sector, among which we can highlight:
The slowdown in operations throughout the chain (production, packaging, commerce, industry, etc.) due to the strict measures applied in terms of physical distancing of workers in practically all producing countries.
Trade restrictions stemming from logistical issues (eg, container shortages and truck availability problems).
The slowdown of cross-border operations.
Increased costs across the chain.
The citrus sector works tirelessly to meet these challenges, and has taken steps from the outset to offer maximum protection to workers throughout the supply chain. They include:
Telecommuting for non-essential personnel.
Safety distances between essential operating personnel.
Strict hygiene precautions.
Sanitary controls for workers.
Establishment of protocols to treat possible cases of coronavirus
These measures are subject to constant review, to ensure the highest level of safety for essential workers, and to continue to meet the demand of citrus consumers worldwide. In addition, the sector is working to guarantee at all times the food safety of all products. The European Food Safety Authority and the United States Food and Drug Administration have confirmed that there is no evidence that the coronavirus is transmitted through food consumption. However, the WCO wishes to remind consumers to follow the precautionary recommendations made by WHO on good hygiene practices during food handling and preparation, such as washing hands or avoiding possible cross-contamination between cooked and non-cooked foods. cooked.
The WCO applauds the recognition given by national authorities around the world to the need to guarantee the security and supply of food, as well as the recognition of the production, trade and industrialization of citrus fruits as an essential activity. Global cooperation is essential to restrict the spread of the virus, keep borders open to the citrus trade, and establish extraordinary measures to facilitate customs operations.
In these difficult times, the WCO and its members are deeply committed to continuing to meet the demand for healthy, high-quality citrus by consumers around the world.
Source: World Citrus Organization