` Greece Pledges €126M Aid to Olive Oil Producers for Pandemic-Related Losses - Olive Oil Times

Greece Pledges €126M Aid to Olive Oil Producers for Pandemic-Related Losses

Oct. 5, 2020
Costas Vasilopoulos

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The Greek Ministry of Agriculture pledged approx­i­mately €126 mil­lion ($148 mil­lion) of com­bined Greek and European Union funds for the coun­try’s olive oil pro­duc­ers as an emer­gency mea­sure to coun­ter­bal­ance finan­cial losses incurred by the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Around 145,000 ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the pro­gram are expected to receive an amount of €300 ($352) per hectare of olive grove, should the aid plan receive approval from the European Commission.

See Also: Mounting Concerns in Greece as Harvest Nears

The olive oil was sec­tor was sin­gled out due to its impor­tance to local agri­cul­tural soci­eties, the min­istry said in an announce­ment, serv­ing as a national-strate­gic prod­uct for the pri­mary sec­tor and the cohe­sion of the social fab­ric of the rural areas in terms of employ­ment, the value of pro­duc­tion and exports.”

“[Olive oil] has been par­tic­u­larly affected by the pan­demic in var­i­ous ways (sup­ply dis­rup­tions, cross-bor­der and domes­tic restric­tions on prod­uct move­ment, restau­rant clo­sures, declin­ing tourism, etc.), result­ing in a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in its sell­ing price,” the min­istry’s announce­ment added.

See Also: Transporters Warn of Effects of COVID-19 Measures on Food Supply

The National Interprofessional Association of Olive Oil of Greece (EDOE), wel­comed the aid ini­tia­tive, nev­er­the­less not­ing that sup­port at all lev­els is required for the Greek olive oil sec­tor to progress.

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The recog­ni­tion of the sig­nif­i­cance of the sec­tor to the national econ­omy and the need to sup­port the pro­duc­ers for the dam­ages caused by the recent adverse weather phe­nom­ena and the decrease in con­sump­tion caused by the pan­demic is, once again, of para­mount impor­tance,” EDOE said.

We also expect the min­istry to put for­ward the issues dis­cussed dur­ing our last meet­ing with the min­is­ter, Mr Voridis, on June 15, [which aim to] edu­cate olive oil pro­duc­ers on good farm­ing prac­tices, estab­lish an advi­sory com­mit­tee of experts in the field, track the pro­duced and traded quan­ti­ties of olive oil, define a national olive oil pol­icy, among oth­ers,” the asso­ci­a­tion added.

All pre­lim­i­nary pro­ce­dures of the aid scheme are expected to be com­pleted by the end of the year, while the pro­gram is likely to be expanded to include pro­duc­ers of table olives as well.





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