French olive producers will soon be able to benefit from new financial aid measures proposed by the French Ministry of Agriculture.
The measures have been proposed in response to the poor 2014 – 2015 harvest which saw a decrease of more 60 percent in production and a significant loss in profits for olive oil producers and mills.
See Also: Complete Coverage of the 2014 Olive Harvest
A press release by the Ministry published on February 25, 2015, referred to the most recent harvest as the worst in recent years, the result of olive oil fly infestations and bad weather. It announced the introduction of a series of urgent measures which will include social security payment exemptions for olive producers, assistance with interest payments, reimbursement of property ownership tax, and eligibility for loans as part of a framework covering assistance for the fruit and vegetable sector, in which olives have been included.
The agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll, has also informed the ministry of labor that applications by mill owners for unemployment benefits due to the exceptionally low crop yields should be processed as quickly as possible.
The ministry has also pledged to increase government assistance to AFIDOL, the interprofessional association for olive oil in France (Association Française Interprofessionnelle de l’Olive) for its technical support and other activities. It is also looking at quickly implementing programmes which will introduce measures aiming to prevent, control and eliminate olive oil fly infestations.