START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Olive Oil Shortage!

Olive Oil Shortage!

When people think of that golden elixir olive oil, people most often think of Italy. Italian cuisine is just drenched in the stuff, and Americans have developed quite a taste for it. The increasing demand for olive oil has brought on more of a supply, this time not only coming from Italy, but numerous other countries. Three countries produce the majority of olive oil consumed worldwide (Spain, Greece, and Italy) and olive oil is now being produced for export in Australia, Portugal, Argentina, and even in California and Texas. Quality is sure to vary, but demand in the international olive oil market doesn’t seem to lessen, only increase year to year.

Now comes news that we have an oil crisis on our hands because one of the leading producers of olive oil has been subjected to an awful season. Spain, not Italy, is the world’s largest producer of olive oil and has been severely impacted by a crippling drought. Spanish olive trees have been hit by drought and an unexpected frost in the flowering season in spring. This has led to trees producing less fruit and the olives that have grown are less juicy than normal.

This means less olive oil, and soaring prices slapped on to what is left. The wholesale price has jumped 62 percent, according to The Guardian UK, with an estimated 600,000 tons wiped out in this year’s Spanish drought. Prices are just starting to go up, with an estimated consumer price increase expected to be somewhere around 25 percent, which means a $20 bottle of olive oil will now run you somewhere in the $25 range (but if you are paying $25 for a bottle of olive oil, an extra $5 will not likely be a big deal). That said, consumers worldwide are being encouraged to stock up on what is currently on the shelves, as the next shipment will surely come at a higher cost.

Does this price increase impact you? Would you refuse to buy Spanish olive oil anyway? Can you see yourself forgoing your olive oil purchase and opting for coconut oil, flax seed oil, or even canola?

How Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lost Its Purity
Guide to Cooking Oils
10 Unusual Uses for Olive Oil

Read more: Basics, Blogs, Eating for Health, Following Food, Food, , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


+ add your own
3:44PM PDT on Mar 14, 2014


8:41AM PDT on Jun 2, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:46PM PDT on Oct 1, 2012


3:44AM PDT on Sep 29, 2012

Thank god many different countries produce Olive oil and we don't have to rely on one place to produce it.
I use it daily and it's so good for you.

3:56PM PDT on Sep 28, 2012


6:45AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

never use it.

3:26AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

We are producing more and more olive oil in Australia, but it is usually more expensive. The price of olive oil from anywhere in the world will now go up.

1:59AM PDT on Sep 27, 2012

I can buy Palestinian olive oil here in CH, well if israelis let them export it. There is also Greece, Turkey, both making a delicious olive oil.

10:27PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Rushing to store...

10:12PM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

Thanks for info, this explains why price has gone up, so it certainly worries many.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Bubba is the worst finicky eater. He rarely eats his food when it’s first presented to him. H…

Some good suggestions thanks.

I was on the Dating site hi5, and found my wife over 8000 miles away, there is no way I could have f…

Bravo! Vegans rock!


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!