The report outlines the current state of the European Union's olive and olive oil sector and examines challenges and future prospects.
A new report by the European Parliamentary Research Service provides a comprehensive overview of the European Union’s olive and olive oil sector as well as the current challenges it faces and future prospects.
The European Union is the world’s largest olive oil producer, with 70 to 75 percent of the world’s olive oil supply originating in nine countries: Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, France, Croatia, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta. According to the report, plantations in the EU’s olive-growing regions cover a total area of 5 million hectares with a production value of over €7 billion.
The report shares a few interesting facts and figures about olive oil production in the EU:
The report also outlines a few of the main challenges faced by the EU’s olive sector. It notes that while production processes remain largely traditional, in Spain and Portugal there’s a trend towards increasing the size of plantations and introducing mechanization. A Spanish research study concluded that this approach is not a “one-size fits all solution” and suggests that plantations could increase profits and avoid market volatility by focusing on innovative harvesting solutions, new cultivars, and pest management.
Market fluctuations due to the unpredictability of yields, extreme weather and disease were some of the biggest challenges faced by countries in the EU’s olive-growing region in recent years. An attempt is being made to address these issues through the risk-management instruments available to farmers under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), while other initiatives aim to tackle food fraud and disputes on the application of commercial rules, and strengthen competitivity.
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Looking to the future, the report forecasts that EU production is set to rise, especially in Spain where it is projected to increase by 10 percent by 2026, while Italy is expected to see a decline of one percent. Meanwhile, in terms of international trade, exports are predicted to rise over 45 percent by 2026.
In order to reach these goals, financing is being dedicated to research into improving several aspects of the production chain, including sustainability and pest control, preventing fraud, and the recycling of waste.
The full report is available here.