By Francisco Seva Rivadulla
Citrus growers in Mexico are beginning to explore types of production that are more respectful of the environment and associated with a healthier lifestyle, including organic production.
“The organic citrus sector is still small, as its market share does not reach 5%, but gradually foreign demand is causing organic citrus to have an increasing presence in the agri-food sector in Mexico,” says Anahí Casillas, agri-food consultant from the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Casillas adds that “Central European markets, especially Germany, are demanding more and more organic citrus from Mexico, so it is clear that producers should focus their efforts and strategies toward organic citrus production, especially lemon and orange, although grapefruit and mandarins are also increasing in demand.”
As demand increases for organic citrus, Casillas has some advice for Mexican citrus growers: “We must work hard and intensely to create a seal of quality for organic products in Mexico, in which citrus fruits from the different Mexican states where they are produced have a place. Citrus producers must seek high-value markets that recognize organic citrus, as is the case in Asia … Markets such as Japan value organic products, as does Germany, so it is very important to develop consolidated distribution channels in both markets.” Casillas says this will help lead to a strong organic citrus sector for international markets.
Casillas estimates that Mexican organic citrus can increase in Europe and Japan between 15 and 20% in the coming years, if solid distribution channels are established with an organic brand.
Francisco Seva Rivadulla is an international agri-food journalist.
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