The Spanish association of small farmers UPA asked for an in-depth investigation of the largest olive oil packaging companies and the challenges for traditional olive growers.
There is no need for further proof to see that some are speculating on the backs of the olive growers.
During ongoing discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture in Spain, the farmers’ representatives blamed bad actors for driving olive oil prices downward, the UPA said, and those who might report illegal practices need protections.
In his speech, UPA head Lorenzo Ramos argued that the deepening crisis facing traditional farms is connected to violations of existing agricultural legislation.
The UPA suggested that some industry stakeholders do not speak up because they fear a loss of their own businesses, “so the Ministry should set up some form of protection to avoid any possible retaliation against those who decide to report” illegal practices, Ramos said.
The UPA pointed to the latest figures including the 56 percent increase in olive oil imports and reductions in stock and production — trends that should push prices higher even as they continue to fall.
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“Data say it all,” said Ramos. “There is no need for further proof to see that some are speculating on the backs of the olive growers. There is a serious disturbance on the market, both on the national level and in export operations.”
The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture has dedicated the current week to introduce a series of meetings with all the major players in the olive oil industry. As already reported by Olive Oil Times, several industry experts have observed anomalies on the market of the major European olive oil producer.