Olive Oil News: Cerberus Jeopardises Another Harvest, Putting the Industry in Crisis
Cerberus is shrouding Europe in a deadly heatwave, warning people not to stay outside for long. The high temperature affects not only tourism but also precious crops, particularly olive trees. The olive oil industry could be in a crisis as the greenhouse effect jeopardises yet another harvest.
Heatwave Threatens Spain’s Olive Oil Industry
Spain is the world’s largest olive oil producer. However, this abnormally hot weather can leave the country with less or nothing to harvest. This raised fears of insufficient production, leading to empty grocery shelves and higher prices.
The olive oil industry is facing a crisis if Cerberus persists and damages the flowers of olive trees. This could lead to a second bad harvest following a spring heatwave. Spain only produced around half of the global olive crop, with a forecast harvest of 25% up in 2022 – the worst in almost ten years.
The International Olive Oil Council projected the country’s production would be 850,000 tonnes but only harvested 660,000 tonnes. Growers fear worse production if the second heatwave will bring up to 43°C this week to some of Spain’s southern parts. Olive trees drop their unripe fruits to preserve moisture.
“In Spain we already know it is going to be another bad year, but no one has got to grips with the what’s currently happening. The record temperatures are not going to help the situation. I can’t share how much anxiety this is causing us. Last year, Spain came into crop with a bit of carry-over [from the year before], which negated the shortfall somewhat. This year the barrels are dry. Even if Spain produces the predicted 850,000 tonnes, the price situation is worse.” said Walter Zanre.
He added that possible shortages could raise the prices of olive oil due to poor harvests in Portugal and Italy. Wholesale prices became two-fold the original price since the start of last year. Zanre is the chief executive of the UK arm of Filippo Berio, the world’s largest olive oil producer.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the retail price climbed 47% year on year to an average of £6.16 for 500ml in May in the United Kingdom. Olive growers doubt that the autumn harvest will produce new oil until November.
Likewise, they expect the last year’s supply to exhaust by September. Consumers can expect to see fewer jars and bottles of olive oil on supermarket shelves.
Tomatoes Are Not Spared Either
Italian tomato producers are equivalently concerned about the heatwave’s effect, wherein flooding destroyed over 15% of the crop this year. If the extreme temperatures persist for a few more days, it could damage the remaining almost-ready-to-harvest tomatoes.
According to Conserve Italia’s commercial director for exports, Diego Pariotti, they estimated the production to fall by 10%. The company produces the Cirio brand of tinned tomatoes and passata.
They also feared this week’s heatwave could affect this year’s second harvest in August. Pariotti added the scorching heat which already exceeded 40°C could damage and burn mature fruits.
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