Daily Archives: November 25, 2014

  • Opening seen for olive maker in Europe's woes

    New Zealand’s largest olive oil producer will look to capitalise on Europe’s disastrous olive harvest.

    South European olive production has been hit by an olive fly and unfavourable weather which in some instances have seen tonnages plunge by more than 50 per cent.

    Southern European nations produce 70 per cent of the world’s olive oil, bringing in $2.8 billion of export revenue.

    However, the full impact of the shortfall will not be known until the middle of next year, when the olive oil from this year’s European vintage hits the shelves.

    Hawke’s Bay-based Village Press produces 280 tonnes of olive oil a year from 35,000 of its own trees, and 12,000 contractors’ trees.

    Chief executive Wayne Startup said his company exported to the United States and Canada, but was more and more focused on Asia.

    “It [the disastrous harvest] might make the market look a bit more sensible from the New Zealand producer point of view.

    “At present we are significantly more expensive than the Europeans, but this means we have an opportunity,” Startup said.

    He said Village Press would not divert oil away from the New Zealand market, which was “still No 1”.
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    New Zealand’s largest olive oil producer will look to capitalise on Europe’s disastrous olive harvest. South European olive production has been hit by an olive fly and unfavourable weather which in some instances have seen tonnages plunge by more than 50 per cent. Southern... 
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  • Europe suffers olive oil disaster: How you can survive it

    If you’re a fan of great olive oil — particularly of oils from Tuscany and Umbria — you’d better get ready to start dipping into your wallet. That stuff’s going to get expensive..
    As a result of what the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is calling “The Black Year of Italian Olive Oil,” the olive harvest through much of Italy has been devastated — down 35% from last year.
    And though the rest of Europe hasn’t been hit quite that hard, production in most countries is forecast to be far below last year’s.
    One group projects Spain’s output to be half of last year’s record harvest, and the overall world output may fall 20%, according to industry researcher Oil World.
    Even in California, the rapidly growing olive oil industry has been slowed by drought.

    As a result, shoppers are going to have to pay more for good olive oil than they have in the past — when they can find it. And they’re going to have to be even more careful than usual about reading labels to be sure they’re getting the real thing.
    There are multiple causes for the disastrous fall.

    In Italy, the weather was horrible — and at all the most crucial points. When the trees were turning flowers to fruit in the spring, freezing weather suddenly turned scorching, causing the trees to drop olives. Summer was hot and humid, leading to all sorts of problems. Then in mid-September, there there was a major hail storm, knocking much of the fruit that remained onto the ground.

    Compounding the problems with the weather was a troublesome infestation of a fruit fly spreading a disease known as “olive tree leprosy.”

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    If you’re a fan of great olive oil — particularly of oils from Tuscany and Umbria — you’d better get ready to start dipping into your wallet. That stuff’s going to get expensive.. As a result of what the Italian newspaper La Repubblica is calling “The Black Year of... 
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