In Molise, the 2022 olive oil campaign promises to be excellent but the farms continue to work in trouble, increasingly burdened by the unstoppable increase in expensive energy.
To support it is Coldiretti Molise which, less than a month before the start of the season, expects a good harvest from a qualitative point of view but raises the alarm for the exponential increase in production costs and speaks of a heavily penalized sector.
“This phenomenon is, in fact, bringing farms to their knees, moreover, with the inflation generated by the conflict in Ukraine, retail prices for the final consumer are also increasing dramatically. A gloomy picture, this one, which emerges from the exclusive report ‘2022, the war of the Made in Italy oil’ by Coldiretti and Unaprol, released on the occasion of the start along the peninsula of the 2022/2023 olive harvest, in a year profoundly marked by climate change and by increases in energy and raw materials prices.
To weigh on production there is certainly the drought, the worst in the last 70 years, which, at national level, could cause a decrease of about 30%. The lack of water has in fact put the olive groves under water stress, damaging the flowering first and then the buds, especially in those areas where it was not possible to intervene with emergency irrigation to quench the thirst and refresh the plants. A widespread situation in our region, characterized by many old conception plants where it is not possible to intervene with this practice. Furthermore, due to the high costs of fuel, electricity, service and products to support the nutrition of the land, many companies have even decided not to intervene ”.
A situation that worries the farmers’ confederation. “With the explosion of costs, increased by an average of 50% in olive farms – highlights Aniello Ascolese, Regional Director of Coldiretti Molise – almost 1 in 10 (9%) works at a loss and is at risk of closureaccording to Crea data. To weigh, in particular – he continues – the direct and indirect increases ranging from + 170% for fertilizers to + 129% for agricultural diesel, while glass costs more than 30% more than last year, but there is also an increase of 35% for labels, 45% for cardboard packaging.CopyAMP code.
But the increases are not limited to the production phase, investing heavily too the milling activity which is highly energy-intensive; in fact, on the eve of the opening of the mills (in Molise we have over 100) it is estimated that the processing will involve a increase in costs due to bills that have practically quintupled. “We must intervene at national and regional level – Ascolese says – to calm these costs, otherwise even in Molise we will face the concrete risk of closing many companies as well as oil mills, many of which mill the olives of many small / medium local producers “.
Coldiretti Molise’s advice to consumers, to support Italian and Molise companies avoiding falling into the deception of fake Made in Italy, is to choose by carefully checking the label and making their food purchases in the Campagna Amica markets where the farmers “put their face to it” and are themselves a guarantee of genuineness and traceability of the product. “Coldiretti – Ascolese concluded – has already announced that it will ask the government that will be constituted after the next elections, to firmly oppose the introduction of ‘NUTRISCORE’, a misleading, discriminatory and incomplete labeling system that paradoxically ends up excluding food from the diet healthy and natural like olive oil which is one of the pillars of the Mediterranean Diet, known all over the world thanks to its positive effects on longevity and health benefits “.