Update on the New Oil – Supporting our producers through a tough year

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I’d like to wish all our Amelia Oil customers the very best for 2015. I also want to wish our producers the Suatoni Family best wishes for a great growing year for olives in 2015 because 2014 was a challenging year for most of the olive farmers in Italy, France and Spain–perhaps the worst year in the past four decades.

Blame it on global warming or the stars but it was a wet year in Italy at all the wrong times. Living in Vancouver we don’t think twice about a few clouds. In contrast, when it rains continually in Italy, it doesn’t make for happy olives. It does, however, produce near perfect conditions for the olive fly to thrive and burrow into the olives as they are developing–ruining the crop. This was the case this past year in most of Italy. Along with a few other problems, it was the worst year for the olive harvest since 1985 when there was a hard frost that killed many trees. The conditions were so bad this year that many farmers decided not to head to the presses to make oil. There is an enormous shortage all over Italy and the prices have sky rocketed.

I have been sitting here in Canada holding my breath and waiting for the news of what, if any, oil will be available and at what price and what quality. Francesco was able to press some oil but he had to purchase additional olives from a few neighboring farms in order to make an oil that meets his high standards. I was skeptical and concerned. It also does not help that this oil will also be more expensive than previous years. I felt it was necessary to taste it before committing to an order.

I happen to be  in France right now for the arrival of Rachel’s baby boy Félix, our first grandchild.  Francesco sent over a tin, and I tasted the oil and feel it is really quite good. I have placed an order. There will be a price increase but the new oil is on its way.

I think it’s important to support our farmers even in tough years. Agriculture is a tricky business–often at the mercy of the weather, something we just can’t control. It is even a bigger challenge for growers like the Suatonis who don’t rely on the use of chemicals to battle pests and disease. Let’s all hope that this past year was just an anomaly and that future harvests will be easier.

I’d like to thank my loyal Amelia Oil customers for their patience in waiting for the new oil. I think it will be worth the wait. I will post the prices and give you an update on the arrival date very soon.

Auguri per un felice 2015