HUNDREDS of olive growers in Jaen have taken to the streets to protest the rock bottom prices of olive oil.

Early in the morning, the fuming farmers lit fires and cut off crucial roads, including the A-4 in La Carolina, Jaen.

The highway sits in the heart of the province, which on its own churns out 20% of the world’s olive oil every year.

Those gathered called on the Government to ‘do more’ to protect farmers’ livelihoods and accused the big companies of making olive oil production ‘unfeasible’.

Fire A
ABLAZE: The A-4 road in Jaen this morning, which was the site of fierce protests by farmers

Since 2017 the price of extra virgin olive oil at source has plunged by 43% from €3.60 to around €1.90 per kilo.

Farmers’ unions, the UPA and COAG have previously slammed the Government, claiming that market speculation ‘steals €1.5 billion from Andalucians’ annually.

Spanish agriculture has also suffered due to the trade tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump.

During 2019, Spain’s olive export rate to America was slashed by almost 15,000 tonnes after the US slapped a 25% levy on the product.

Meanwhile, more action is planned for Cordoba, with a busy stretch of the A-45 towards Lucena set to be shut down on February 14.

This Valentines Day protest is organised by olive growers from farmers unions, including the UPA, COAG and Asaja.

Protests are set to continue during the next week, affecting the A-44, the A-32 in Ubeda and the A-316 in Torredelcampo.

Subscribe to the Olive Press

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.