Andalusian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Carmen Crespo has requested the national government to think outside of the box so olive oil and table olive producers are not “the next great victims” of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
The regional minister made the request during the opening of the First Congress of Table Olive Cooperatives in Seville, the Andalusian capital.
In Andalusia, we are committed to a national strategic plan for the CAP that is simple and feasible.
“We have the opportunity in Spain to make a national strategic plan [for the CAP] that responds to the needs of these sectors,” she said. “The [Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food] still has the opportunity to resolve this situation by addressing the concerns that Andalusia has made.”
Crespo added she hoped the aid to traditional olive growers announced by Agriculture Minister Luis Planas “is broad enough to cover the entire Andalusian sector.” She further said that now is the right time to give specific aid to table olive producers.See Also:Study Reveals Impacts of Climate Change on Spanish Olive Sector
Along with olive oil, “Andalusia is the main producer of table olives” globally, Crespo added. In the 2021/22 crop year, the autonomous community produced 546 million kilograms of table olives, representing 19 percent of global production and 73 percent of Spanish production.
Her comments come less than a month after the Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers (Asaja) criticized the Spanish agricultural ministry’s revised financial aid plan for traditional olive growers. The association said the €30 million per annum earmarked by the ministry for traditional growers is insufficient.
Planas has insisted that Spain’s national strategic plan for the new CAP is an “excellent opportunity” for the whole olive sector with better distribution of aid and additional financial commitments to organic and traditional olive growers.
However, Crespo fervently disagreed in her speech, citing regional estimates that anticipate Andalusia to lose €100 million annually under the current national strategic plan. Of this figure, the Andalusia olive sector would lose €60 million.
Previously, Crespo warned that 53 percent of Andalusian farmers and ranchers would lose funding in the national strategic plan for the CAP.
“The great strength of Andalusian agriculture is that it is a united sector, which goes hand in hand to face its future challenges,” she said. “In Andalusia, we are committed to a national strategic plan for the CAP that is simple and feasible.”