Spain's Minister of Agriculture Calls on Olive Oil Sector to Keep Prices Affordable

Luis Planas said that there should be enough olive oil to meet domestic and international demand but warned the whole sector needs to work together.
Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas
By Paolo DeAndreis
Nov. 17, 2022 14:08 UTC

Spain’s min­is­ter of agri­cul­ture, fish­eries and food has asked all the stake­hold­ers of the nation’s olive oil pro­duc­tion chain to stay united and coop­er­ate in times of sig­nif­i­cant olive oil price insta­bil­ity.

Luis Planas said olive oil prices had increased 45 per­cent in the last year, which he warned could trans­late into a reduced appeal of the prod­uct among fam­i­lies.

He added that a gourmet” prod­uct avail­able only to cer­tain con­sumers would do no good for the olive oil sec­tor. In the cur­rent envi­ron­ment, he said, the indus­try should act to avoid price spikes.”

See Also:In Spain, Olive Oil Sales Rise with Margins Along Production Chain

Among the dri­vers of the ongo­ing olive oil price rise is the excep­tion­ally low har­vest expected across all of Spain, the world’s largest olive oil-pro­duc­ing coun­try.

Additionally, infla­tion and con­tin­ued uncer­tainty in the global oilseed mar­kets have resulted in an unprece­dented mar­ket sit­u­a­tion for olive oil.

We are liv­ing in a moment that is com­pletely unprece­dented. Olive oil has never had such a high price,” Juan Vilar, a strate­gic con­sul­tant, told Olive Oil Times in an October 2022 inter­view.

The lat­est offi­cial esti­mates from both the national and Andalusian gov­ern­ments cal­cu­late that olive oil pro­duc­tion will reach some­where between 700,000 and 800,000 tons. Meanwhile, national olive oil stocks slightly exceed 400,000 tons.

Given these vol­umes, Planas reas­sured Spanish con­sumers, con­firm­ing that there would be enough olive oil for inter­nal con­sump­tion and exports.

International Olive Council fig­ures show that olive oil con­sump­tion in Spain reached approx­i­mately 510,000 tons in the 2021/22 crop year.

At a meet­ing for the pre­sen­ta­tion of a sci­ence-based book on olive oil and health pro­moted by the Foundation Patrimonio Comunal Olivarero and by the Spanish Interprofessional Olive Oil Organization, Planas also noted that he looks with opti­mism at the future of the sec­tor, both for the prod­uct and for who is behind it.”

I think it is cru­cial that all parts of the olive oil sec­tor… are united to ensure they get the most out of this prod­uct,” he added.

Several olive oil indus­try lead­ers have repeat­edly expressed sim­i­lar wor­ries in recent days.

Adoración Blanque, the pres­i­dent of the Almería chap­ter of the Association of Young Farmers and Ranchers (Asaja Almería), said the moti­va­tion for the price increase is partly due to the exces­sive reduc­tion of the har­vest in the rest of Andalusia.”

However, we must empha­size that if the price at ori­gin is very high, it is high for the con­sumer as well, so con­sump­tion could be affected,” she added.

Producers in Spain and other rel­e­vant mar­kets, such as Italy, also lament the higher pro­duc­tion costs, includ­ing for elec­tric­ity, fuel, fer­til­izer, pes­ti­cide, pack­ag­ing, labels, logis­tics and mar­ket­ing.

However, Planas remained opti­mistic in his speech and empha­sized the need to edu­cate con­sumers about olive oil.

He con­cluded that there was still remark­able poten­tial to grow the sec­tor, as olive oil accounts for just 3 per­cent of edi­ble fats con­sumed glob­ally.


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