Spain has had another disastrous harvest which has pushed the commercial price of olive oil from about €3.50 a year ago to €9.00 a litre today. There is no doubt that these staggering increases will continue to be reflected in the price of commercial olive oils. Buying from small estate who do not buy in olives or oil can have its disadvantages: the first producer that Charles worked with when The Oil Merchant started 39 years ago stopped producing after the awful Tuscan frost in 1989 which killed or severely damaged 90% of Tuscan olive trees. For a second year in a row the Valdueza’s Bodega Perales estates trees have been affected by the incredibly hot spring and dry summer producing a less than optimal amount of oil. However, they will not be supplementing their supply by buying in olive oil from other growers to blend it with their own and therefore their price rises will not be as dramatic. We won’t be able to mitigate them entirely (costs of labour, electricity, bottles etc are still increasing), but they won’t be as dramatic as the 20, 30, 40% we are seeing in supermarkets. We will look more closely at these in the New Year.
Listen to Fadrique talking to the BBC World Business Report about how climate has affected yields HERE.