top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Time to stock up on olive oil? France fears olive shortage

The year has been tough for olive producers, with the health crisis and extreme weather wreaking havoc on the ‘temperamental’ fruit, pushing prices up

The price of olives in France is now 50% higher than it was last autumn, with further repercussions expected to be felt in the cost of olive oil later this year.

The health crisis has caused a shortage in a wide range of products globally, including fuel, metals, and food products – such as olives.

But it is not just the pandemic that has caused olive issues; extreme temperatures over the past year also hit production, with unexpected high temperatures followed by unseasonal frost in April.

As a result, yields in late 2021 are expected to be far lower than average.

Olive producer Pierre Vialla estimates that he has lost 50-80% of his harvest this year. As a result, he cannot supply his usual wholesalers, and prices are rising.

He told BFMTV: “When we say that olive oil is like gold, it’s because it is very temperamental, especially French varieties. The tiniest little change, it’s like a little princess, it locks itself up, it takes to its bed, it waits for it to pass.”

As a result, olives are expected to cost 50% more than last autumn, and this will likely have a knock-on effect on the price of olive oil, although the exact extent of this is not yet clear.

Isabella Deelen, olive seller in Occitanie, said: “This year, there are more problems that are being felt by olives, and so automatically we will feel them too, when we go to buy the olives. 

“But to calculate how much prices will rise [exactly] is delicate, because well, we don’t know. Normally, here, in Occitanie, by August 15, we know, because [then] there are the final storms, which determine which olives will survive.”

With harvests beginning in September, the exact effects of the difficult year are yet to be seen for certain.

Related stories

Bacteria deadly to olive trees found in southern France
‘Olive tree killer’ bacteria arrives in France
Advice given as olive harvest underway in France

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now