- Title: U.S. tariffs threaten livelihoods of Spain's olive-farming families
- Date: 17th October 2019
- Summary: PORCUNA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) OLIVE'S PRODUCER SHAKING TREES, OLIVE TREES FARMERS WORKING OLIVE'S PRODUCER PABLO CASADO WORKING HAND TAKING THE MECHANICAL 'COMB', SHAKING THE TREE, OLIVES FALLING OLIVES FALLING DOWN (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OLIVE'S PRODUCER PABLO CASADO SAYING: "The tariffs are the tip of the iceberg. That's going to tip us over the edge. "I don't understand olive farmer have to pay for an agreement politicians have with Airbus, I just don't understand," VARIOUS OF OLIVE PRODUCERS PICKING UP THE NETS WHERE THE OLIVES FELL OLIVES PRODUCERS DUMPING OLIVES IN THE SACKS. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OLIVE'S PRODUCER SERGIO CASADO SAYING: "If the situation was bad enough, this is a disaster. We have had a few years of low prices, of difficulties, and the truth is that now it is very hard to continue." A 4X4 VEHICLE ENTERING THE OLIVE OIL COOPERATIVE WITH OLIVES IN THE TRAILER A WORKER UNTYING THE KNOT OF THE SACK TO DROP THE OLIVES OLIVES FALLING VARIOUS OF OLIVES ON CONVEYER BELT OF PRESSER WORKERS PUTTING OLIVES ON CONVEYER BELT OLIVE MOVING ALONG VARIOUS OF OLIVE PASTE BEING MADE IN THE MACHINE VARIOUS OF OLIVE OIL COMING OUT OF PRESSER (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SPANISH OLIVE OIL EXPORTERS ASSOCIATION, JUAN CARLOS RUIZ, SAYING: "Tariffs are going to have a negative effect on the price of oil, and on the Spanish oil trade. The entry of Spanish oil into the United States is going to be taxed 25%, this will have repercussions on the American market and they will buy oil from other countries that do not have such tariffs like Morocco or Tunisia." VARIOUS OF WORKER PACKING OLIVE OIL BOTTLES VARIOUS OF OLIVE OIL BEING POURED INTO GLASS MAN FILLING A GLASS WITH OLIVE OIL PORCUNA, SPAIN (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF OLIVE FARM
- Embargoed: 31st October 2019 09:49
- Keywords: tariffs olive trees spain olive producers olive grove Olive oil U.S. tariffs agriculture spanish olive oil farming
- Location: PORCUNA, SPAIN
- City: PORCUNA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA004B1HJGP3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A double whammy of U.S. import tariffs kicking in on Friday (October 18) and a recent steep drop in global olive oil prices is threatening the subsistence of thousands of families in southern Spain who fully depend on "liquid gold", as the oil is known here.
The southern Andalusia region is home to the world's largest olive oil industry, accounting for about half the global output.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration slapped 25% import tariffs on several European agricultural products, including Spanish olive oil, as part of WTO-authorised countermeasures in a long-running spat over subsidies to planemaker Airbus
54-year-old Pablo Casado, who has grown olives for the past 40 years, told Reuters that he does not understand why an agreement between politicians must be paid by olive farmers.
They start working in the groves before the sun rises so that the cool temperature preserves the olives' best properties. By hand or with the help of simple mechanical 'combs', they shake the trees for hours, collecting tonnes of olives to then quickly transport them to the cooperative for pressing.
"In these 40 years, we have never had a situation like this ... The survival of the olive-grove is in danger," Casado said, explaining that the price of extra virgin oil, of around two euros ($2.20) was already below his production cost of at least 2.4 euros.
In his small town of Porcuna, most of the 7,000 inhabitants grow olives or make the oil sticking to traditional methods that confer a supreme quality to the end product. Most of the work is done by hand in the field and at the presses.
They are already immersed in the production of a premium oil made from the greenest olives before the main harvesting campaign starts in mid-November.
The United States consumes 320,000 tonnes of olive oil annually or about half of all the non-EU consumption globally. Spain accounts for around 200,000 tonnes of American imports, including direct and indirect sales, the latter involving oil exported elsewhere in large containers and bottled abroad.
Casado's son, Sergio, 23, has returned to the farm after a two-year stint at a university only to find things more complicated than before.
(Production: Mariano Valladolid, Elena Rodriguez, Silvio Castellanos)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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