Crete governor rings alarm bells over olive oil production

The regional governor of Crete, Stavros Arnaoutakis, on Wednesday wrote to the leadership of the Agricultural Development Ministry requesting funds to prop up the island’s olive oil producers, who are expected to face a revenue shortfall of 150 million euros this year.

Weather conditions, and especially a warm and dry spring, have led to poor growth of the island’s olive trees, which are a mainstay of the local economy.

Arnaoutakis said that olive farmers in Crete are facing a decline in oil production of around 60 percent as this year’s yield is not expected to exceed 40-50 tons of olive oil, compared to the 100-120 tons produced each year on average.

The loss of revenues, the regional governor warned, will lead “to an explosive situation among the island’s olive oil producers, who already have to endure multiple hardships.

“The problem needs to be addressed as fast as possible, so that oil producers are compensated before we are faced with an explosive situation,” he added.