2016 was a bleak year for Italian Olive Oil, as harvests brought in the lowest yields experienced for decades.  Data from the Institute of Services for the Agricultural and Food Market (ISMEA) calculated a 62% drop in the quantity of olives collected (182,000 tons) from 2015, owing largely to adverse weather conditions and the dissemination of the olive fruit fly.

This year yields are expected to improve to 250,000 – 320,000 tons but still fall far short of Italy’s annual average of 450,000 – 500,000 tons.

Such a shortfall has led to a steep increase in the price of Olive Oil from ‘Il Bel Paese’.

Italy’s woes are further compounded by the continued strong performance of Spain, and significantly greater yields coming from Greece and Algeria.

Against this backdrop one might ask, is Italian Olive still worth still worth its price?

We believe it is.

Whilst Italy has experienced a lull in quantity, the quality of its Olive Oil has reached new heights, seeming to qualify increased prices.  This is exemplified by Italy’s strong showing at this year’s New York International Oil Competition, being the number one country in terms of participating contestants and awards received.  Such a performance can be put down to the resilience of Italian producers, who have invested in new irrigation systems and experimented more with organic production.

If looking for a high-quality Olive Oil, therefore, buyers should still be keeping Italy at the forefront of their minds, despite higher prices than before.

For more information on Italian Food Products, don’t hesitate to get in touch.