Price of olives soars by 50% as bad weather in Greece leads to shortage of the crop

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Many Greek farmers reporting little or no green olive yield this year and problem made worse following Spanish olive drought in the summer comes as further bad news for foodies after this year’s almond shortage.

Green olives, a dinner party staple, could soon shoot up in price after bad weather in the Greece put them in short supply.

An olive farm in the Greek countryside close to Patelidas in the Halkidiki region of northern Greece producing Premium olives, are set to cost up to 50 per cent more, after poor conditions in the region where they are grown affected the harvest.

Farmers have reported that crop yields are down by up to 80 per cent, meaning that anyone wanting to enjoy them in the UK will have to pay more.

This could mean that 150g of pitted green olives at a supermarket would cost shoppers £3, instead of their usual price of around £2.

The problem is worsened by the fact that earlier this year, the effects of a drought in Spain and areas of Southern Europe saw production of Spanish olives falter too.

With suppliers looking to Greece to bridge the gap, the disappointing final yield is now set to affect prices of premium and chilled olives, which are often sold stuffed in supermarkets and delis.

Halkidiki olives, which are known for their pleasant, sour taste, are traditionally harvested from the middle of September.

But much of this year’s crop fell foul of unusually high temperatures, with many growers seeing little or no olives produced.

And the problem has prompted many Greeks call for action from the European Parliament, to help them through the olive growing crisis.

The crop, forms a large part of Greece’s export trade, and a poor harvest could spell trouble for the country’s struggling economy.

According to the Olive Oil Times website, left wing Greek MEP Nikos Chountis spoke for the growers earlier this year, and opened a discussion on whether the current conservative government is doing enough to help.

Speaking during a session of the European Parliament, he said: ‘What other actions can be taken directly by the Greek government to give a boost to one of our most important economic exports?’

The olive crisis is further bad news for lovers of delicacies in Britain.

Chocoholics have been forced to scour the shops for their favourite Green & Black’s organic chocolate and almond bar after a nut shortage saw the sweet treat sell out.

Retailers up and down the country have seen demand for the upmarket treat, which costs £2.29 for a 100g bar, by far outstrip supply in recent weeks.

Both Waitrose and Wholefoods have confirmed that they have already sold out.

The unexpected shortage is believed to have been caused by problem in the supply of almonds, which are imported from harvesters in Europe and America.

California, which grows 80 per cent of the world’s almonds, suffered under the effects of a prolonged drought which led to smaller nuts being harvested this year.

source dailymail

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