Olive oil prices in Britain are expected to rise drastically as harsh crop failures have affected the world’s biggest olive oil producers.
In fact, almost all of the major olive oil producing countries (which are all located in the Europe) are currently experiencing a severe decrease in this year’s harvest. The causes are different but the outcome remains the same as those countries are falling short on meeting demand.
See more: Complete Coverage of the 2016 Olive Harvest
In France, drought during the summer months has affected the harvest severely; the 2016 crop is expected to be around thirty percent lower than last year’s and olive growers are facing tough financial perspectives. In Greece, olive oil production is forecasted to drop to around 220,000 tons compared with 300,000 tons in 2015.
The situation is not much more shining in Italy, where producers expect to see output fall to 230,000 tons produced compared with last year’s 350,000 tons, mostly due to the olive fly — the same parasite that caused much trouble to French olive growers in 2014.
Walter Zanre, managing director of olive oil brand Filippo Berio, commented on Italy’s current olive oil production situation with the trade magazine The Grocer: “In our region, Tuscany, forecasts are for less than 50 percent of a normal crop. During the last four weeks, we have seen Italian extra-virgin olive oil prices appreciate by over 10 percent and it is still increasing. We fully expect to see a repeat of the 2014-2015 situation,” he added.
The Filippo Berio director indicated that even though olive oil production in Spain, the world’s largest supplier, is actually expected to rise this year, the estimated global production of 2,750,000 tons will not be able to meet the expected demand which sits at 2,920,000 tons of olive oil.
In Britain, retailers will likely have no choice but to reduce shelf space for Italian extra-virgin olive oil. That is a concerning situation for a country where people are consuming more and more olive oil with each passing year, notably due to the fact that many consumers consider the Mediterranean diet to be a healthy alternative to more indigenous types of alimentation.
Olive oil consumption in Britain has risen from 6,200 tons in 1990 to around 62,000 tons, an encouraging figure for the olive oil industry that has made Britain the world’s tenth biggest olive oil-consuming country.