15 Jan, 2016 @ 12:13
1 min read

Environmentalists fight back as 1,000-year-old olive trees are ripped out of the ground in Spain and sold for six-figure sums

Tree huggers e

Old olive treeHUNDREDS of Spain’s oldest olive trees are being uprooted and sold to foreign buyers.  

Trees over 1,000 years old are being snapped up by rich investors for garden ornaments in the Middle East, northern Europe and the USA.

Environmentalists are now fighting back to keep Andalucia’s oldest olive trees in Spain.

With trees selling for as much as €100,000, the Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente Foundation is appealing to the European Parliament (EP) to push through a law change to ban the uprooting and sale of these trees.

The group has launched a change.org petition addressed to the EP, which already has over 145,000 signatures.

“We must stop this intolerable plundering of our natural and cultural landscape,” a spokesman for the group said. “The business is only going to get bigger, men with big money bags are ruining our heritage.”

He added: “The European Parliament must step in to protect these jewels from being ruined.”

While no national law currently exists in Spain to protect aging olive trees, France and Italy have both recently introduced legislation to protect their groves.

The Valencian regional government has similarly prohibited the export of trees over 350 years old since 2006.

Rob Horgan

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  1. “men with big money bags are ruining our heritage”

    Yes, but it’s Spanish farmers and landowners who are digging them up and selling them! Spain brings in so many laws, like stupid road speed changes costing millions, and yet the most important things like this are ignored. Spain in a nutshell.

  2. I lived in Portugal during the transition (1976 to 1999) and saw similar greed inspired economic and cultural incompetence. I witnessed the end of shoe production, wool production and the grubbing out or flooding of cork trees and olive groves. A Portuguese colleague summed it up by saying, “What have we come to: we can’t even raise sheep!.” While Spain still knows how to raise sheep and goats, perhaps China will provide olive oil, as they have started to do with apple cider, and UK will provide seafood. All this is a result of economic political mismanagement which favors skimming profits from imports instead of earning profits from quality regional production.

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