`Despite Drought, Calif. Olive Growers Will See Good Return - Olive Oil Times

Despite Drought, Calif. Olive Growers Will See Good Return

Sep. 2, 2014
Olive Oil Times Staff

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On Thursday, the Olive Growers Council reached an agree­ment with table olive proces­sors for pric­ing on their 2014 har­vest.

The coun­cil is a bar­gain­ing coop­er­a­tive made up of California olive grow­ers. This past sea­son, grow­ers have suf­fered immensely as the last­ing effects of a deep frost in December and a sum­mer-long drought con­tinue to be felt across the state. After weeks of nego­ti­a­tions, the coop­er­a­tive has come to a favor­able agree­ment with olive proces­sors.

Despite what is expected to be one of the small­est har­vests in years, Bell Carter Olive and Musco Family Olive Co. agreed to higher-than-aver­age prices per ton. The 2014 state har­vest for table olives is esti­mated to be between 32,500 and 50,000 tons, accord­ing to a report by The Recorder.

This year, table olives of the Manzanillo vari­ety will range from $350 for sub-petite to $1,350 for large, per ton. For the Sevillano vari­ety, the range is from $300 to extra large L to $1,200 for super colos­sal.

Grower prices have been flat since the record crop of 2010 that set an indus­try record at 164,000 tons. The cur­rent price sched­ule reflects increases although with increased cost of pro­duc­tion and con­tin­ued labor prob­lems, table olive grow­ers are still strug­gling finan­cially,” said Adin Hester, pres­i­dent of the Olive Growers Council in an inter­view with The Recorder.

This summer’s wide­spread drought has left California olive farm­ers hurt­ing. In the San Joaquin Valley, there are reports that some farm­ers will not even be mak­ing a har­vest due to the impact of the drought and ear­lier frost. In Lake County, grow­ers have fared much bet­ter, with many farm­ers report­ing a pro­jected har­vest just shy of their aver­age, accord­ing to the Record-Bee.


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