The Greek Olive Harvest 2003 - It's Not Over, Until it's Over...

Usually we say this expression at any ball game to describe the unpredictability of the end result. The same feeling of anxiety follows the farmer/producer until he bags the olive crop regardless if the harvest was good or bad. It is not a matter of faith. It all depends on powers beyond human understanding, that which controls a farmer's fortune or loss.

A good example is last year's wine industry's catastrophe, in Greece and other regions of Southern Europe. Rain in August and September turned the grapes moldy on the vine. This year, 2003, will be remembered in the history of wine making [in the area of Nemea and other wine producing regions of Greece] as the best ever in quantity, and believe it, in quality wines. You could easily read the excitement in the faces of all producers as they were pressing the grapes in mid-September - which is quite the opposite for the olive oil industry.

This year is the low cycle of the olive trees. We crisscrossed the Peloponese and Crete from every direction and without avail, with the exception of some regions in southeast Crete, it appears that the country is accepting the fact that production is going to be at a low - at least 40% less than the year before. But this year's Greek olive oil is expected to shine in quality. Low acidity is the key word, seeing how high temperatures prevented the olive fly from damaging the olive fruit as it had in previous years.

Nonetheless, 2003 will be remembered as the worst year for table olives [Kalamata, Green, along with other varieties] contributed by the poorest production in the last 25 years, a combination of frost while the olive trees were in bloom and the low production cycle has resulted in shortages. Already the producers of table olives are hesitant to commit on quantities and prices which in turn fails to guarantee availability to the consumer at last year's prices. I am sure many have already experienced this reality.

We have been through crisis before: natural disasters such as fire, rain, drought, disease many times. However, over the years we have learned to accept these ups and downs and continue to look forward with enthusiasm to the next season. And in this light, despite ever-changing annual cycles and unpredictable harvests, Basil Olive Oil Products Ltd. strives to share Golden Olive 'Eleni' harvest and all final results with our consumers, whatever they may be, and to continue to protect the olive's quality until it reaches your table. Inquiries about the New Harvest call 604-460-0087 or visit our web site

Taken From:
The Greek Olive Harvest 2003 - It's Not Over, Until it's Over...
by Basil Koutalianos
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