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.