The Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has called on all stakeholders in the national olive oil production chain to remain united and cooperate in times of significant price instability. olive oil.
Luis Planas said olive oil prices had risen 45% over the past year, which he warned could translate into a reduction in the product’s appeal to consumers. families.
He added that a ““gourmet” available only to certain consumers would be of no use to the olive oil sector. In the current environment, he said, the industry should act to “avoid price spikes.
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Among the drivers of the continued rise in the price of olive oil is the expected exceptionally poor harvest throughout Spain, the largest olive oil producing country in the world.
Additionally, inflation and continued uncertainty in world oilseed markets have resulted in an unprecedented market situation for olive oil.
“We are living in a totally unprecedented moment. Olive oil has never had such a high price,” said strategic consultant Juan Vilar. Olive Oil Times in an October 2022 interview.
The latest official estimates from the national and Andalusian governments calculate that olive oil production will reach somewhere between 700,000 and 800,000 tons. Meanwhile, national olive oil stocks are just over 400,000 tons.
Given these volumes, Planas reassured Spanish consumers, confirming that there would be enough olive oil for domestic consumption and exports.
Figures from the International Olive Council show that olive oil consumption in Spain reached around 510,000 tonnes in the 2021/22 crop year.
During a meeting for the presentation of a scientific book on olive oil and health promoted by the Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero Foundation and by the Spanish Interprofessional Organization of Olive Oil, Planas also noted that ‘He watched “with optimism about the future of the sector, both for the product and for who is behind it.
“I think it is crucial that all parts of the olive oil sector…come together to ensure they get the most out of this product,” he added.
Several olive oil industry executives have repeatedly voiced similar concerns in recent days.
Adoración Blanque, president of the Almería branch of the Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers (Asaja Almería), said the motivation for the price increase “is partly due to the excessive reduction of the harvest in the rest of Andalusia.
“However, we must point out that if the price at origin is very high, it is also very high for the consumer, so consumption could be affected,” she added.
Growers in Spain and other affected markets, such as Italy, also lament rising production costs, including for electricity, fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, packaging, labels, logistics and marketing. .
However, Planas remained optimistic in his speech and stressed the need to educate consumers about olive oil.
He concluded that there is still remarkable potential for growth in the sector, as olive oil accounts for only 3% of edible fats consumed globally.