Prices Open Higher in Greece Amid Shortage of Laborers

Early seasonal prices have reached €3.80 per kilo while the lack of foreign workers has prevented some harvesting activities in Greece.
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Oct. 27, 2020
Costas Vasilopoulos

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While still early in the sea­son, the olive har­vest has begun in Greece with a kilo­gram of fresh extra vir­gin olive oil far­ing well above €3.00 ($3.55), con­firm­ing the recent pro­jec­tions for bet­ter prices in the begin­ning of the season.

In the Argolida region of the Peloponnese, an Italian trader paid €3.80 ($4.49) per kilo for 30 tons of extra vir­gin olive oil with acid­ity below 0.3 per­cent and polyphe­nol con­tent exceed­ing 500mg per kilogram.

Another sim­i­lar trans­ac­tion was immi­nent, Konstantinos Mellos, the head of the local olive oil asso­ci­a­tion Thermasia Dimitra, told Ypaithros Ηora news­pa­per, attribut­ing the sub­stan­tial price to the high polyphe­nols of the batch.

See Also: The Best Greek Olive Oils

The same price tag of €3.80 ($4.49) per kilo was fetched for the first pro­duc­tion of extra vir­gin olive oil by the Apostles Agricultural Association in Laconia, in the first trans­ac­tion of the sea­son at this price level.

Last year’s extra vir­gin olive oil of Laconia, on the other hand, that has retained its organolep­tic char­ac­ter­is­tics and low acid­ity level, cur­rently sells for €2.75 ($3.25) to €2.80 ($3.31) per kilogram.

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In Messinia, the first small quan­ti­ties of EVOO pro­duced were mar­keted for €2.90 ($3.43) to €3.00 ($3.55) per kilo, with the season’s price level expected to be shaped in the com­ing weeks.

There is no cer­tain offer yet to be able to deter­mine the sea­son’s prices,” Giorgos Kokkinos, the head of the Nileas group of Messinian pro­duc­ers, said.

In Crete, where the har­vest has been delayed by recent heavy rains, the first olive oils made in the Messara area near Heraklion fared between €3.30 ($3.90) and €3.50 ($4.14) per kilogram.

See Also: 2020 Olive Harvest Updates

The 2020 olive har­vest in Greece, mean­while, has been ham­pered by the con­tin­u­ing coro­n­avirus pandemic.

Foreign work­ers are scarce in many olive oil mak­ing ter­ri­to­ries of the coun­try. Those who are avail­able are required to demon­strate a neg­a­tive COVID-19 test result before work­ing in the fields, with grow­ers charged with the respon­si­bil­ity for their testing.

Some grow­ers who had ini­ti­ated the process to hire work­ers from abroad and had paid the required admin­is­tra­tive fee of €100 ($129) per laborer, were dis­ap­pointed to see some labor­ers not arriv­ing due to Covid-related travel restrictions.

Consequently, part of their crop remained unhar­vested with the pro­duc­ers unsure whether the state would reim­burse the fee amount.





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