` Farmers Lawyer Up in Battle Over Salento Trees - Olive Oil Times

Farmers Lawyer Up in Battle Over Salento Trees

Sep. 23, 2015
Olive Oil Times Staff

Recent News

Olive grow­ers from south­ern Italy, where a Xylella fas­tidiosa out­break has led to a major cull of trees and a ban on plant­ing new ones, are seek­ing legal advice to see if they can chal­lenge the European Union’s stance on tack­ling the dis­ease.

Olive farm­ers have been up in arms in the Salento region for quite some time as the European Union deals with the tree dis­ease which, its says, could threaten olive crops all over Europe if not prop­erly con­tained.

As part of the process, trees have been ripped out of the ground and new plant­i­ngs are strictly pro­hib­ited, much to the dis­may of locals.

Not hav­ing the free­dom to plant new trees is a con­dem­na­tion of death to the ter­ri­tory.- Olive Alliance of Manufacturers

But now, a group made up of Italian grow­ers and oth­ers in the olive oil sec­tor, Voice of the Olive Alliance of Manufacturers, is fight­ing back.

According to a press release on the organization’s Facebook page, rep­re­sen­ta­tives are meet­ing with lawyers to see if a chal­lenge is pos­si­ble in the European Courts of Justice.

The group claims Paolo De Castro, an Italian politi­cian and EU mem­ber of the agri­cul­tural and rural devel­op­ment com­mit­tee, is wrong and forc­ing a ban on new plant­i­ngs is unfair on Salento.

To remove the ban on replant­ing we are ready to resort to the European Courts of Justice, because it is an unfair mea­sure towards Salento which is not effec­tive against the con­tain­ment of the bac­terium,” said the group.

In the next few days, the asso­ci­a­tion will attend the first meet­ing with lawyers in this bat­tle for the sur­vival of Salento.”

The asso­ci­a­tion went on to say how Salento’s land­scape, cul­tures and tra­di­tions are in jeop­ardy and action must be taken to pro­tect the his­toric olive oil indus­try of the region.

Not hav­ing the free­dom to plant new trees, is a con­dem­na­tion of death to the ter­ri­tory,” added the group.

Tender lov­ing care — not culling

Meanwhile, the web­site Xylella Report said another project is instead focus­ing on car­ing for some of the area’s most ancient trees in a new exper­i­men­tal trial to fight against what they describe as the syn­drome CoDiRo.

This is some­thing Salento’s locals have known about empir­i­cally for around a decade and insist is a set of symp­toms (not a dis­ease) which cause the trees to quickly dry out and is not the same as Xylella fas­tidiosa.

The trial involves trees being observed by University of Foggia researchers and treated organ­i­cally and is led by the provin­cial chair­man of Copagri, an orga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sent­ing farm­ers.

Fabio Ingrosso told Xylella Report: The olive trees that showed evi­dence of the syn­drome are respond­ing well. And only two months have passed. We are only at the third treat­ment and visu­ally record­ing a net improve­ment.

Our goal is not to cure the Xylella, but to strengthen the trees — weak­ened by years of the use of chem­i­cals — to feed the soil and restore organic mat­ter, so that the trees respond even in the pres­ence of the bac­terium,” Ingrosso was quoted as say­ing.

He also claimed the key rea­son for the research is to iden­tify what prod­ucts will allow the olive trees to return to their proper state of veg­e­ta­tion and stresses the exper­i­ment is using low or zero impact prod­ucts labeled as fer­til­iz­ers, bio-stim­u­lants or are prod­ucts already accepted in organic farm­ing.

Aside from the Italian olive oil heart­land, another Xylella fas­tidiosa out­break has been cited on the French island of Corsica.

Related News

Feedback / Suggestions