Thousands of Andalusian olive farmers and their supporters marched on the Palace of San Telmo on Tuesday, the seat of the autonomous community’s president, to protest low olive oil prices.
The march was organized by the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) and the Coordinator of Agriculture and Livestock Organizations (COAG), both of which are calling for various measures to help out olive growers and oil producers.
Among these measures is the ability for producers to self-regulate and stricter enforcement of quality controls at extra-European Union borders.
In spite of a recent rise in its price, olive oil is still selling far below market value. According to Poolred, an independent organization that tracks olive oil prices, virgin and lampante olive oil prices increased by seven cents last week to reach €2.119 ($2.380) per kilogram and €2.061 ($2.310), respectively. However, extra virgin olive oil prices remained steady at €2.242 ($2.510).
Miguel Lopez, the general secretary of COAG Andalusia, said that prices should be above €3.00 ($3.36) per kilogram.
Miguel Cobos, the general secretary of UPA Andalusia, blamed speculators and special interest groups for hurting olive oil prices. He said that protests were likely to continue until prices went back up.
“We do not want more words, we want facts that solve the problem,” Cobos said.
A similar rally is planned for September in Madrid unless olive farmers and oil producers feel their voices have been heard, according to the rally’s organizers. They are also not ruling out protesting in Brussels if the situation does not start to improve.