Oh Great, Now Olive Oil Is Going to Get More Expensive
A poor European harvest could lead to price increases this year
You can now add olive oil to the list of grocery items that are getting more expensive. The good-for-you ingredient is already pricey, especially if you’re paying attention to sourcing and purchasing a high-quality bottle. But a poor European harvest in 2022 is likely going to make it even more costly in 2023, according to Food & Wine.
Summer 2022 was the hottest ever on record for Europe, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, which means a smaller, less flavorful olive crop. In turn, countries like Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal are expecting smaller outputs. Italy, the world’s second-largest olive oil producer, said they expect to produce 37% less of the stuff this year than they did in the 2021/2022 season.
“With uncertain temperature patterns and weather events increasing in intensity, our crops aren’t facing the same predictable environments that we’ve built infrastructure and businesses around,” Casey Corn, an olive researcher and culinary consultant, told Food & Wine. “For the larger olive oil producers, smaller crops may mean they need to import more olives from different locations, which will also impact the resulting flavor.”
Olive oil fraud is already a very real problem in the United States, and this harvest fiasco is probably going to make things worse before they get better — especially because quality brands are going to have to raise their prices even more.
This isn’t the first time weather has affected the European harvest, so let’s just hope things cool down a bit this year.
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