How does all this affect family farmers?
In the past, the family farmers we work with had to weed out up to 35 per cent of their harvest per season because it did not meet these standards.
The producers were only able to sell the rejected oranges on the local market or to the juice industry. But they get a fraction of the price of table oranges for juicing oranges. This represents a massive loss.
So in 2019, we decided to take a stand against the madness. The intent behind our petition and campaign to liberate the illegal oranges was to obtain an exemption, or even deliberately break these senseless rules. But in the end, we didn't have to go that far. The EU pointed out an exception defined in their own regulations that we could reinterpret for our own purposes.
The magic words: for processing only. Fruits that are officially intended for processing can look any way they please. The only condition is that the boxes be labelled: for processing only.