`Italy Provides €140M in Loans to Producer Groups to Buy Olive Oil, Table Olives - Olive Oil Times

Italy Provides €140M in Loans to Producer Groups to Buy Olive Oil, Table Olives

Sep. 16, 2020
Paolo DeAndreis

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The Italian gov­ern­ment has announced a new finan­cial aid pack­age aimed at sup­port­ing olive grow­ers and oil pro­duc­ers through the 2020 har­vest.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has made €140 mil­lion ($166 mil­lion) of guar­an­teed loans avail­able for orga­ni­za­tions of pro­duc­ers of olive oil and table olives and related asso­ci­a­tions.

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Participating pro­ducer groups have until December 2020 to request loans of up to €2.5 mil­lion ($2.96 mil­lion) each, which they can then turn around and use over the course of the fol­low­ing 12 months to pur­chase olive oil and table olives from their mem­bers.

If the pro­ducer orga­ni­za­tions and asso­ci­a­tions are then unable to repay the loans, the state-run Deposits and Loans Bank (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) will pay the dif­fer­ence. However, it is widely expected that this will not be the case.

Interested pro­ducer orga­ni­za­tions and asso­ci­a­tions will have to fill out appli­ca­tions with the Italian Chamber of Commerce, which will then vet each one to ensure that European Union reg­u­la­tions regard­ing the amount of state aid that can be pro­vided to a pri­vate com­pany are not breached.

The ini­tia­tive could be use­ful to enhance the results of the next oil cam­paign and to con­tain the mar­ket imbal­ances caused by the Covid-19 emer­gency, as well as to favor the relaunch of the activ­i­ties of a sec­tor already heav­ily affected by an unfa­vor­able 2019,” the min­istry said in a state­ment.

The min­istry added that the finan­cial aid pack­age would help pro­mote Italian table olives and olive oils while also shoring up the pro­duc­tion chain after peri­ods of bad weather through­out the spring and sum­mer dam­aged many of the country’s olive trees.

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