Olive farmers squeezed as competition and supermarkets push down prices | World news | The Guardian
Under Spanish competition law it is illegal to sell below cost, he says, but supermarkets get round this by selling at a few cents above the cost price without factoring in transport, labour or fixed capital costs. Olive oil is the loss leader par excellence of Spanish supermarkets.
“In Argentina, Chile and China there are immense plantations with the olives grown on espaliers so they can be harvested mechanically,” says Pere Solé on his farm at La Bisbal del Penedès in Catalonia. “We can’t compete with that.” He explains that it costs him €2.70 to produce a litre of oil with a market value of €2.50. “Olive oil is one of the cheapest products on the market, when you bear in mind that a litre will last you a week or two, unlike a bottle of wine,” he says. “It’s absurdly cheap.”