Olive tree disease abroad to affect local prices

Mar 23, 2015 7:57 PM by Brian Johnson

The European Commission is proposing to cut down 11 million olive trees in Italy to stop the spread of a disease that is killing trees and having a ripple effect on the global olive industry.

From the disease to droughts, Lucero Olive Oil's General Manager said it is being called a black year for olive production in Italy, Spain, and Greece.

She said American consumers should expect somewhere in the range of a 30% increase in olive prices later this year.

But she said those same consumers are continuing to buy local.

"It was coffee and chocolate in the past and today's it's craft beer and olive oil," said Liz Tagami. "What the data says is people are buying less low quality grocery grade oil and they're spending their money on more premium oils."

The disease in Italy is insect-borne and has no cure.


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