“I love nature, the trees and the olives, but I must be a total fool,” farmer Georgois Nikolaou told Spiegel Magazine last year
The Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission will soon release a study regarding the olive oil sector, which will be the basis for an open discussion about olive oil. The scope is to receive and examine suggestions on how to confront the structural problems of the sector in the European Union as a whole.
The structural problems of the oil sector in Greece continuously undermine development and profitability of the oil industry. Many adverse facts are reported, such as small mills of outdated technology, small standardizing companies with consequently weak promoting and marketing capabilities, fragmentation of the industry and high production costs due to small olive groves and low labor productivity.
To add insult to injury, according to a recent AEMO report, the traditional methods of olive cultivation are no longer viable, not to mention the diminishing CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) subsidies.
All these mean that a previously healthy sector of the Greek agricultural industry is now declining rapidly, trapped in an environment of uncertainty and stagnation.
Today, it seems more than urgent that the aforementioned initiative of the European Commission has to produce some applicable solutions to direct the olive oil industry in Greece and Europe back to the road of development.