`Groups Work to Improve Viability of Table Olives in Andalusia


Groups Work to Improve Viability of Table Olives in Andalusia

Oct. 13, 2014
Chris Lindahl

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Agri­cul­tural orga­ni­za­tions and the Span­ish Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture are work­ing together to cre­ate a work­ing plan to improve the via­bil­ity of the strug­gling table olive indus­try in the autonomous com­mu­nity of Andalu­sia.

The Andalu­sian Insti­tute of Agri­cul­tural and Fish­eries Research and Train­ing, Agrar­ian Asso­ci­a­tion of Young Farm­ers, the Coor­di­nat­ing Body of Farm­ers and Ranch­ers, Union of Small Farm­ers and Ranch­ers, Andalu­sian Fed­er­a­tion of Agri­cul­tural Coop­er­a­tive Com­pa­nies and Asemesa, the asso­ci­a­tion of table olive pro­duc­ers and exports are work­ing with the Span­ish gov­ern­ment to mod­ern­ize the indus­try. Together, these groups hope their sec­tor will play a larger role in the Rural Devel­op­ment Plan of Andalu­sia.

The work­ing group is meet­ing in Sevilla to dis­cuss how to return the crop to prof­itabil­ity. Over the last 15 years, pro­duc­tion costs of the Man­zanilla and Gordal vari­eties have exceeded income from its sales, accord­ing to a 2010 study by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture. Over the last five years, over 8,000 hectares of these vari­eties have been uprooted in Andalu­sia alone, due to their prof­itabil­ity prob­lems.

Sevilla, a province within Andalu­sia, pro­duces 80 per­cent of Spain’s table olives, and 25 per­cent of the world’s total. In the meet­ing, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Agrar­ian Asso­ci­a­tion of Young Farm­ers stressed the impor­tance of the sec­tor on the econ­omy, with 20,000 farms engaged in cul­ti­va­tion of table olives. 400 pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies in the region employ 8,500 peo­ple.

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