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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Poor crops for Olive Growers in the South of France

October to February is usually a busy time, for olive oil producers, it is the time for harvesting and extracting olive oil but olive oil producers in our region in the south of France are totally frustrated with the olive crops this year. Some producers say they will lose 100 % of their crops, and quite a few are   now chopping down their trees, it is all quite alarming especially for produces in the Var and the Alpes- Maritime regions.

Weather conditions

Olive oil specialists are blaming the weather conditions for the most part; the dreaded olive fly is also responsible for the catastrophic results.

One producer from Nice said his olives were much smaller this year and that it was heartbreaking to watch his olive fall to the ground. French olive oil experts call this phenomenon, chute physiologique the condition where olives shrivel up and fall to the ground. They say it is weather related but cannot really explain why it happens.
Gilles and Brigitte Stalenque, gold award medalists in last year’s prestigious Olive Oil Times competition will also face heavy losses this year. Their family owned domaine is situated in the ancient village of Seillans, about 72 kilometers inland from Nice. From their five hectare estate, Domaine Stalenq,  they work hard every year producing sublime fruity green olive oils, proud of their first international win last year.

Sadly, it’s a different story this year.  
Brigitte said: “we are trying hard to be optimistic, but it isn’t easy.”

Brigitte and Gilles at their domaine in Seillans
With the drought in Andalusia and the problem of blight, which has hit Puglia, Italy’s main olive growing area, olive oil experts are predicting an increase in price for extra virgin, not good news for us consumers.

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