Here we would like to explain to you why the price of good olive oil has risen sharply recently.
During the last harvest (2022), the purchase price for olive oils of all quality levels had already increased significantly (up to doubled).
Thanks to our close cooperation with Ilias and his oil mill, we have so far been able to absorb the price increases well and have only had to increase our sales prices relatively moderately.
However, we expect a further price increase for the 2023 harvest.
On the one hand, this is of course due to inflation, which drives up all ancillary production costs such as wages, packaging and transport, but not only...
Olive oil - a well-connected market
In the 2022 harvest, Spain, the largest producing country in the globally networked olive oil trade, had a harvest loss of 50% due to persistent drought, and yields were also comparatively poor in Italy, the second largest European producer. Although Greece had a good harvest last year, severe losses are expected this year due to drought, fires and floods. In return, Turkey is probably having a pretty good harvest at the moment.
In addition to the increasingly extreme weather events, the olive fruit fly δάκος (Bactrocera oleae) represents another risk factor. This year, unfortunately, it has found good conditions to thrive in many regions. The result is olive oil of poor quality. This means that our excellent quality level of extra virgin olive oil from organic cultivation will probably be a rare commodity in 2024.
The truth is: Turbulence in individual countries has a direct effect on the price in all countries in the well-organized and networked olive oil market. Greek farmers and traders no longer only trade in the Greek internal market. The olive oil market is a well-organized global market controlled by professional brokers and traders. The current trading price is published every Wednesday - and it has only increased in recent months.
Of course, despite our close and personal connections to Greece, to the farmers and our oil mill, we also have to keep up with prices on the world market. That's what fairness demands. Why should we offer farmers significantly less than anyone else would be willing to pay?
The other side of the coin
The current high prices also represent an opportunity for Greece. In this way, olive cultivation, which has been shamefully neglected behind tourism, is becoming attractive again. The strenuous and challenging work with olives could also become worthwhile again for small farmers and part-time businesses. And finally the harvest workers will receive slightly more appropriate daily wages. These wages, which were at a very low level compared to the EU, have already increased noticeably.
We hope that this turbulence will also lead to a rethinking of cultivation methods, quality and sustainability.
If, due to drought, 13 kilograms of olives have to be processed for one liter of oil instead of five to six kilograms, if water is already being rationed in Spain and the landscape is alternately plagued by drought, fires and floods, you might look at issues such as water management differently , deforestation, surface sealing and monoculture cultivation.
In the second year of the extreme drought, Spain has already launched a billion-dollar program to promote more sustainable use of water.
In any case, we continue to work undeterred to promote agriculture that develops small-scale farming structures, traditional, organic cultivation, but also innovative, gentle cultivation methods and a high awareness of quality and fairness among our customers.
Even if our OEL lands on your dining table with just one click, we should all never forget that behind it there are people who manage this balancing act with laborious manual work, at their own economic risk, with a lot of love and brain power, and with a high awareness of quality .