Drought: olive growers in Provence expect a drastic drop in production


France 3

Article written by

V.Bouvier, F.Madigou, B.Carapic – France 3

France Televisions

The lack of water is already jeopardizing the next olive oil harvest. Provençal olive growers haven’t seen rain for several months, and they expect a drastic drop in production, when Provence usually supplies two-thirds of the olive oil made in France.

Like many olive growers, Paolo Chabot, president of the olive oil syndicate of Haute-Provence Moulin Bonaventure, expects a catastrophic harvest, with a drop that could go up to 40%. A situation due to an unprecedented drought. “We already have a lot of leaves that have fallen, and then in addition we have olives that have completely dried up to turn black”explains Paolo Chabot. However, the olive tree is a tree known for its resistance. He knows how to produce without water, but in tiny quantities to protect himself.

On another plot, young olive trees old enough to bear fruit will not produce olives. “Their root system was too weak, and their leaf system was not developed enough for them to be able to withstand the heat”explains Paolo Chabot. With only 94 mm ofwater this year, against 600 for a good year, the earth dries out. This low harvest will have a financial impact for olive growers in Provence. Production costs are expected to increase by 30%, so the price of olive oil is also expected to rise, but it is difficult to pass everything on to consumers. 2023 could be a year complicated for olive growers.

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