As a result of plunging olive oil prices growers in Spain are gearing up for protests which could disrupt one of the country’s most import farm production sectors. The leading Spanish farm COAG union estimated that average farm-gate prices last month were €1.85 per kilo, compared to costs of €2.49 last year and that Spain’s olive farmers have accrued losses of €1.9 billion in the past three seasons. Their solution? They want the government to purchase and store large quantities of olive oil until prices pick up. Further complicating the problem, Spain’s Small Farmers’ Union (UPA) has called for a food marker on olive pomace oil in order to prevent fraud. The union is worried that some producers might mix olive oil with pomace oil in order to make up for the fall in prices of virgin olive oil.
UPA Andalusia Regional Secretary Agustín Rodríguez said while the practice is banned in Spain, some packers may be tempted to mix the oils in order to “minimize the continuing losses in a market in which generic brands are eating away at brand olive oil”. He said the “scandalously” low price of olive oil makes it difficult to compete and there is a risk of an increase in practices that go against the quality of the product.
Well there’s a surprise! (Not.) Newsflash: most of them already do, which is one reason for the ever-continuing downward pressure on price. Producer A blends his oil to undercut the competition, so Producers B, C, D follow suit in order to stay competitive. Soon the entire Spanish market is blended gunk, producers are selling at a loss, and everyone is begging for a handout from the European Union during a global “recession.”
The truth is that if someone wants real olive oil, he wants Sicilian olive oil. 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from first-pressed, old-stone-pressed Sicilian olives picked no more than 12 hours prior to this extraction. That’s what we produce and sell at Mamamiafoods. We’ve been doing precisely this for hundreds of years — we have olive trees in our groves which have been producing the highest quality olives for 800 years! It’s hard to compete with Sicily in olive oil production without cheating (blending) as you can see from this news. Have you had your dose of healthy Sicilian olive oil today?