Europe

Thousands of Jobs Lost in Italian Olive Oil Sector, Farmers Group Warns

May. 6, 2019
By Costas Vasilopoulos

Recent News

Coldiretti, the asso­ci­a­tion of farm­ers in Italy, pre­sented an analy­sis to the Italian gov­ern­ment indi­cat­ing that 100,000 jobs have been lost in the olive oil supply chain in the coun­try as adverse weather and Xylella fas­tidiosa crip­pled the country’s olive oil yield.

With a dismal 185,000 tons of olive oil pro­duced this season in Italy, Coldiretti said, the area of Puglia, which nor­mally makes more than half of the coun­try’s extra virgin olive oil, saw its pro­duc­tion dimin­ish by 65 per­cent. The Xylella out­break has already hit an esti­mated 21 mil­lion plants and caused damage of €1.2 bil­lion ($1.35 bil­lion) while the whole olive oil sector is worth €3 bil­lion ($3.36 bil­lion) to the Italian econ­omy, the group said.

Coldiretti urged gov­ern­ment offi­cials to bring leg­is­la­tion to fight the advance of Xylella fas­tidiosa and pre­vent the fur­ther slide of the sector, and commit to pro­vid­ing the nec­es­sary funds to farm­ers and mill owners for com­pen­sa­tion. The asso­ci­a­tion also called for mea­sures to pre­vent oil mills from scrap­ping their machin­ery and the sup­port of employ­ment through an exemp­tion from social secu­rity con­tri­bu­tions.