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2014: the year of the catastrophe

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Let’s be honest, the 2014 harvest is close to zero.

Olives sur l'Olivier

And the Domaine des Opies is no exception. With a production reduced by ten. Although trees were full of olives thanks to a sweet Spring, and even Winter, nature, as if it was telling us not to ask for too much, quickly reasserted itself…. Parasites, especially olive flies, not killed by frosts in Winter, developed dramatically and ate most of the harvest. And as everything is a circle, Summer was humid and damages the precious olives that we found on the ground, long before there were meant to be harvested…

It is hard not to link these disasters (70 to 80% f the harvest wasted), that can make companies, especially mills, close down, with what’s in the news such as climate troubles… It is less stunning than the melting ice caps, but at the local level, it has huge economical consequences. Mills, whose harvest and pressing are the only income, and heavy investments, are in despair, and so are some growers that spent their lives working for olive oil production, without any source or income to survive in times of crisis.

There are not a lot of solutions to bring back real Winters, except in the long term and they must not be neglected. What should we do in the short term to lower economical damages? The Afidol (French Interprofessional Olive Association) intends to set up a fund on 5 years, whose aime is to help affected companies to survive while waiting for a better season. Although the harvest is lost, the tree aren’t, like the exceptional frost of 1956. Thus, it is still possible that everything will get back to normal naturally… In the meantime, there is a solution, which works, even locally, but that now seems outdates: help each other…

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