`Olive Growers in Extremadura Brace for 'Worst Harvest in History' - Olive Oil Times

Olive Growers in Extremadura Brace for 'Worst Harvest in History'

By Simon Roots
Aug. 18, 2022 14:38 UTC

According to APAG Extremadura Asaja, the autonomous community’s olive har­vest is on track for a record decline com­pared to last year.

Juan Metidieri, the orga­ni­za­tion’s pres­i­dent, has warned that it will be the worst har­vest in his­tory” based on all fac­tors ana­lyzed to date.

The orga­ni­za­tion esti­mates that the num­ber of olives des­tined for oil pro­duc­tion could fall up to 80 per­cent com­pared to last year, result­ing in just 23,000 tons of olive oil pro­duced, com­pared to 103,600 tons last year.

See Also:2022 Olive Harvest

The pre­dicted table olive losses could amount to up to 85 per­cent with an esti­mated pro­duc­tion of just 27,000 tons, com­pared to 183,000 tons last year.

The fore­casted losses would be in stark con­trast to record 2021 har­vests in the region, fol­low­ing a sim­i­lar pat­tern of drought-related declines in olive oil pro­duc­tion across Europe.

Metidieri warned that such a sharp fall in pro­duc­tion risks pro­vok­ing an equally sharp reduc­tion in employ­ment in Extremadura’s olive sec­tor as sig­nif­i­cantly fewer work­ers would be required at all stages from har­vest­ing and trans­form­ing to bot­tling, can­ning, label­ing and trans­porta­tion of end prod­ucts.

He also warns that the fore­cast may even be opti­mistic, given that it does not con­sider the poten­tial for fur­ther heat­waves and drought between now and the start of the har­vest in the autumn. Losses could be even more sig­nif­i­cant if such con­di­tions con­tinue.

Production from super-high-den­sity olive farms is expected to be some­what less affected than that of tra­di­tional groves, pro­vid­ing some minor eco­nomic relief.

However, this has also stoked fears that this mod­ern cul­ti­va­tion method, well-known for its high envi­ron­men­tal impact, will fur­ther increase its com­pet­i­tive advan­tage.

In response to the fore­cast losses, the orga­ni­za­tion has called on regional and national gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tions to intro­duce direct aid and tax exemp­tion schemes to address the agri­cul­tural sector’s cur­rent cri­sis, par­tic­u­larly con­cern­ing the prob­lems caused by drought and the war in Ukraine. Metidieri described the cur­rent aid as insuf­fi­cient.”


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