The unstoppable decline of Italian extra virgin olive oil, last for investments and trade

Updated Feb 15, 2023
We are at the "extra virgin of citizenship". A social phenomenon, not a market one. In Italy there are still 619,000 active olive farms, much more than those that produce fruit (330,000), cereals (325,000) and wine (255,000). But despite this significant number, the Italian production of olive oil is in constant decline. In fact, from 2010 to today it has almost halved, going from 500,000 tonnes to the 270,000 expected for the 2022-23 campaign. And this above all because 42% of Italian companies have less than two hectares of olive groves, which means that just under half of the olive-growing companies are dedicated to hobby production or production intended only for self-consumption. In fact, only 2.5% of Italian companies have more than 50 hectares against 7.5% in Spain. These are the numbers announced by Nomisma on 14 February during the presentation of the results of the supply chain agreement signed in 2018 between Confagricoltura and Carapelli Firenze.
«These are figures that outline an olive growing that should be considered more as a social phenomenon than a true productive sector – said Denis Pantini of Nomisma -. And even more worrying numbers emerge from the data on investments in which Italy is bringing up the rear. Between 2011 and 2021, in fact, the olive grove surfaces increased by 41.6% in Chile, by 39.5% in Argentina, by 22.6% in Morocco, by 11.4% in Turkey, by 10.9 % in Portugal, 5.4% in Spain (therefore growing even in what is already abundantly the world's productive leader), even 0.4% in France while olive grove surfaces drop by 3.5% in Italy. Numbers also confirmed by the figures on world trade in olive oil. Between 2011 and 2021, Turkey's exports increased by 16.4%, that of Portugal by 14.8%, Tunisia by 9.8%, Chile by 9.7%, France by 8.2%. Compared to an average of world trade that grew by 6.2% in ten years, that made in Italy increased by only 3%. Under these conditions, in a few years Italy will remain a ...
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