Olive oil: peak prices, small angry Italian producers


Extra virgin olive oil, the price is not right. It infuriates olive growers and small oil mills, both harassed by foreign competition now established in the large-scale retail trade that offers their own products with lowered figures.

This year the figures announce a clear improvement in the field of oil production, given that Italy could generate 330 thousand tons, that is 89% more than the final production of last year, nailed to the roof of 175 thousand tons. We would therefore have to smile, if it weren't – as the newspaper underlines Free – that the small distribution it is literally on a war footing for now paltry gains.

The offers proposed by the large retailers are unsustainable for those who do not have the means to compete with a distant reality, far away but above all that makes millions of bottles of olive oil run.

In many supermarkets, i prices on the labels placed on the shelves that house the olive oil bottles, they range from 2.36 euros per kilo to 2.31, but also 2.99 and other similar figures. There are two problems: the lowered value caused by the intrinsic mechanisms of large-scale distribution and the competition of "EU origin" oils.

Prices too low

As regards the first aspect, supermarkets can afford to lower prices due to the higher quantity of products sold compared to small and medium-sized companies. Market dynamics do the rest.

The discussion on the second aspect is different, ie on the competition of extra virgin olive oil coming from others European countries. Meanwhile, a bottle of real Italian oil should not cost less than 10-12 euros. But this value does not hold up when compared with the oil produced in other states.

And so we discover that the quotations at the origin of the 100% made in Italy extra virgin olive oil have gone up to 4.43 euros per kilogram, but still down by 13.7% compared to 2018. The raw material used to produce a bottle of oil, in Italy it has a cost but abroad it follows other dynamics. The same ones that are slowly strangling olive mills and small oil mills.

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