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.