The construction of a strategic plan to tackle the problem of low prices was proposed in a meeting between the Greek minister of agriculture, Makis Vorides, and the National Interprofessional Olive Oil Association of Greece (EDOE).
The two concurred that the surplus of olive oil is responsible for the prevailing low prices, while private storage of excessive olive oil quantities was seen as an inefficient remedy for Greece.
“Everybody agrees that olive oil prices are affected by the high supply, mostly due to the huge production of Spain,” the ministry’s press release said. “Private storage is not the solution and would not be effective in the Greek market. Instead, it is necessary to apply measures to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of the olive oil sector and to enforce promotional actions and support the marketability of Greek olive oil.”
As a consequence, the ministry of agriculture and EDOE agreed to start working on a set of goals to promote the stability of the sector. The plan is expected to be reviewed in March.
Part of the plan is expected to be a modification of legislation mandating that restaurateurs serve only non-refillable, sealed bottles of olive oil to seated customers.
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“The change in legislation makes it mandatory that a non-refillable bottle of branded olive oil will be present on the tables at restaurants,” Giorgos Economou, the executive director of SEVITEL, the association of Greek olive oil bottlers, said.
“Eateries currently absorb around 10,000 tons of olive oil. With only bottled olive oil on tables, we estimate that a quantity of 4,000 tons will be consumed that can potentially increase if the measure is implemented,” Economou added.
The measure of sealed, non-refillable bottles, was introduced in 2018 to prevent restaurants and taverns from serving bulk olive oil, however its adoption is spotty and largely unenforced.