Medical XPress posted an article today discussing the terrible olive harvests that have affected the supply of European olive oil, causing prices to rise significantly. Here is a quote from their article:
“Nowhere has the impact of freakish summer weather been felt more painfully than in Tuscany and Umbria, where the subtly aromatic, extra-virgin oils reaped from timeless landscapes provide the industry’s global benchmark for quality.
In Spain, which last year accounted for half the world’s production of all grades of olive oil, a toxic cocktail of scorching temperatures, drought and bacteria is expected to halve output this year.”
Another factor which has caused problems with the olive harvest this year is the increase in the prevalence of the olive fly. “Olive flies are highly sensitive to climate. Central Italy’s combination of cold winters and very hot summers usually keeps them under control but this year’s temperatures were more akin to northern Europe. That and persistent heavy rain provided ideal conditions for the insect’s reproductive cycle, in which mature flies pierce the olive skin and lay their eggs, allowing larvae to develop inside the fruit.”
You can read the complete article here. The rising prices may be good news for Georgia farmers who are now starting to grow olives in the Southeast.