`Olive Council Warns of 'Standstill' if Prices Get Too High

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Olive Council Warns of 'Standstill' if Prices Get Too High

Oct. 1, 2014
Charlie Higgins

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Inter­na­tional Olive Coun­cil exec­u­tive direc­tor Jean-Louis Bar­jol (file photo)

Speak­ing at the inau­gu­ra­tion of the XII Expert Vir­gin Olive Oil Tast­ing Title at the Uni­ver­sity of Jaén, Inter­na­tional Olive Oil Coun­cil (IOC) direc­tor Jean-Louis Bar­jol warned of a poten­tial slow­down in olive oil con­sump­tion if prices con­tinue on an upward trend.

Bar­jol said that con­sump­tion has been grow­ing steadily in recent years, point­ing out that the issue of olive oil being seen as an expen­sive prod­uct” has been bal­anced by the fact that con­sumers rec­og­nize its proven health ben­e­fits.

Over the years, we’ve seen a slow but steady increase [in con­sump­tion]. It’s true that the global eco­nomic cri­sis has weighed on con­sumers, and the level of con­sump­tion has approached a plateau. If prices get too high, we’ll see another stand­still and, in some coun­tries, a reduc­tion in con­sump­tion,” he said.

The con­cern is pri­mar­ily among large con­sumers such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and the United States,” Bar­jol added, not­ing that weak­en­ing demand in the lat­ter had become less of a con­cern as of late.

When asked about the upcom­ing olive cam­paign in Spain, Bar­jol said that while most indus­try mem­bers expect a marked reduc­tion after last year’s record break­ing har­vest, other impor­tant pro­duc­ers like Greece, Tunisia and Italy will likely bounce back from lousy har­vests to meet global demand in the com­ing year.


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