08 May

Olive oil: a liquid market

Paul Levy notes that Italian olive oil output is declining and prices seem to be going up. Are recent EU regulations actually helping?

A few weeks ago I received an alarming email from Armando Manni who makes what is certainly the most expensive olive oil in the world, and the one that a great many people think is also the best. He announced that his 2007 Organic Farming extra virgin olive oil Toscano IGP (Protected Geographical Indication) was ready to ship from Tuscany. But, in his own words:

“Unfortunately global warming in Italy has cut the olive oil production by almost 50%. It has been a disaster. Our production of the new harvest 2007 is only 1,500 litres instead of 2,600 litres. So, we’ll be sold out earlier this year”.

Try though I might to establish independently whether the Tuscan shortfall is universal or confined to Manni’s oil, or whether there’s any consensus about global warming being the cause, I’ve failed completely. But I’ve turned up a few interesting trifles worth considering.

(Be warned, almost nothing that follows is relevant to Manni’s own oil, whose price of €220 (£190) a litre reflects the cost of amortising his classy olive groves, pressing and bottling the oil using processes more commonly used for fine wine, and delivering it by ecologically-incorrect courier in 100ml anti-UV glass bottles.)

[Source] Click here to continue

One Response to “Olive oil: a liquid market”

  1. Tony Sansone Says:

    Extra virgin olive oil that costs 220 Euros per liter or anywhere near that price just does not make sense. Some folks will pay for fancy bottles, but will not ask the person making and selling the oil for test reports on the quality of the oil. If there were such a thing as a quality difference for the money charged, then that would be OK. However, there is no estate bottled oil anywhere on earth that can have such a quality to command such a price. In fact, oils from Italy may have more pesticides and industrial pollution in them than oils from other areas. I grow olives, harvest them, and press them into oil on the island of Crete. My EVOO for this year has an acidity of 0.17%, a peroxide value of 6, and a total polyphenol count of 160ppm. I can not find a better quality EVOO anywhere, at least not so far. I bet the 220 Euro per liter oil cannot match my quality. It is far more expensive to make the highest quality oil so my oil must sell for $30 US per liter. One does not have to pay more to have the highest quality and most healthful EVOO. Tony Sansone

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