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Chilean Producers Manage a Hard Year to a Promising Harvest

Chile is expected to produce roughly 20,000 tons of olive oil in 2021. Producers have re«üØø…²āŚ:g^ ćC`Ś÷'zeęܚ " mnewed focus on quality to help their brands stand out.

Photo: ChileOliva
May. 17, 2021
By Jasmina Nevada
Photo: ChileOliva

Recent News

Despite the chalĀ­lenges of an ongoĀ­ing drought and the Covid-19 panĀ­demic, Chilean olive oil proĀ­ducĀ­tion is expected to once again exceed 20,000 tons in the 2020/21 crop year.

Gabriela Moglia, the genĀ­eral manĀ­ager of the National Association of Chilean Olive Oil Producers (ChileOliva), told Olive Oil Times it is still too early to give a preĀ­cise figĀ­ure, but all signs point to another good year for proĀ­ducĀ­ers.

There are shortĀ­ages of spaces in the difĀ­ferĀ­ent ships, conĀ­gesĀ­tion in ports and long tranĀ­sits on the routes, which has made it very difĀ­fiĀ­cult to meet 100 perĀ­cent of the dates proĀ­grammed.- JosĆ© Manuel Reyes, develĀ­opĀ­ment manĀ­ager, AgrĆ­cola PobeƱa

The Chilean olive harĀ­vest starts in mid-April each year and ends in early- to mid-June. The countryā€™s Mediterranean cliĀ­mate is ideal for olive culĀ­tiĀ­vaĀ­tion and genĀ­erĀ­ally leads to high yields.

ā€œThis year, the harĀ­vest began a few weeks earĀ­lier just to carry out good coorĀ­diĀ­naĀ­tion and be preĀ­pared for panĀ­demic conĀ­tinĀ­genĀ­cies,ā€ Moglia said. ā€‹ā€œProducers, who mostly export high-qualĀ­ity olive oil, have demandĀ­ing interĀ­naĀ­tional stanĀ­dards, so the Covid-19 sitĀ­uĀ­aĀ­tion has supĀ­pleĀ­mented their safety meaĀ­sures with strict proĀ­toĀ­cols to preĀ­vent conĀ­taĀ­gion.ā€

See Also:2021 Harvest Update

Chile has been expeĀ­riĀ­encĀ­ing drought conĀ­diĀ­tions for the past couĀ­ple of years, which has led to mountĀ­ing conĀ­cerns in the agriĀ­culĀ­tural secĀ­tor and emphaĀ­sized the need for comĀ­paĀ­nies to plan ahead.

However, there has been more rain in the curĀ­rent crop year than in the preĀ­viĀ­ous two, which helped growĀ­ers. One month into the harĀ­vest, most proĀ­ducĀ­ers expect to have a good year, both in quanĀ­tity and qualĀ­ity.

The leadĀ­ing cause for conĀ­cern stems from the absence of rain in recent weeks.

ā€œThis year, we are expectĀ­ing an estiĀ­mated proĀ­ducĀ­tion of 2.8 milĀ­lion liters of conĀ­venĀ­tional olive oil and 700,000ā€Æliters of organic olive oil,ā€ Claudio Lovazzano, the head of marĀ­ketĀ­ing at Olivos del Sur, told Olive Oil Times.

business-production-south-america-chilean-producers-manage-a-hard-year-to-a-promising-harvest-olive-oil-times

Photo: Olisur

Olisur has more than 1,800ā€Æhectares of olive crops planted in San JosĆ© de Marchigue and 500ā€Æhectares of organic olive trees in the Coquimbo area of northĀ­ern Chile.

Meticulous planĀ­ning has allowed the companyā€™s 60 employĀ­ees to operĀ­ate conĀ­tinĀ­uĀ­ously durĀ­ing the harĀ­vest while folĀ­lowĀ­ing health proĀ­toĀ­cols.

Covid-19 has preĀ­sented logisĀ­tiĀ­cal and pracĀ­tiĀ­cal chalĀ­lenges. While Olisur has sucĀ­cessĀ­fully kept its employĀ­ees safe throughĀ­out the panĀ­demic, this has inevitably caused proĀ­ducĀ­tion delays.

Throughout the day, operĀ­aĀ­tors run six harĀ­vestĀ­ing machines. Olives from the companyā€™s super-high-denĀ­sity groves are conĀ­tinĀ­uĀ­ously delivĀ­ered to the mill, ensurĀ­ing that the entire proĀ­ducĀ­tion process is comĀ­plete within two hours.

Lovazzano said this process ensures high organolepĀ­tic qualĀ­ity and chemĀ­iĀ­cal paraĀ­meĀ­ters for the companyā€™s award-winĀ­ning extra virĀ­gin olive oil, which boasts low acidĀ­ity and is proĀ­duced using a susĀ­tainĀ­able and enviĀ­ronĀ­menĀ­tally friendly process.

ā€œAt Olisur, each process is conĀ­trolled and meaĀ­sured, as we are the only olive oil in Chile and Latin America cerĀ­tiĀ­fied as carĀ­bon neuĀ­tral,ā€ Lovazzano said. ā€‹ā€œOlisur is a memĀ­ber of the Clean Production Agreement and also has a For Life (corĀ­poĀ­rate social responĀ­siĀ­bilĀ­ity) cerĀ­tiĀ­fiĀ­caĀ­tion that emphaĀ­sizes not only the qualĀ­ity of proĀ­ducĀ­tion but also the workĀ­ers and the comĀ­muĀ­nity around us.ā€

business-production-south-america-chilean-producers-manage-a-hard-year-to-a-promising-harvest-olive-oil-times

Photo: Olisur

Situated a few kiloĀ­meĀ­ters west of Olisur, JosĆ© Manuel Reyes, the develĀ­opĀ­ment manĀ­ager at AgrĆ­cola PobeƱa, which proĀ­duces Alonso Olive Oil, has outĀ­lined the addiĀ­tional logisĀ­tiĀ­cal facĀ­tors for the disĀ­triĀ­bĀ­uĀ­tion of olive oil durĀ­ing the panĀ­demic that need to be taken into account.

ā€œThere are shortĀ­ages of spaces in the difĀ­ferĀ­ent ships, conĀ­gesĀ­tion in ports and long tranĀ­sits on the routes, which has made it very difĀ­fiĀ­cult to meet 100 perĀ­cent of the dates proĀ­grammed, espeĀ­cially for those of us who sell fresh and green oil,ā€ Manuel Reyes told Olive Oil Times.

To offĀ­set some of the ecoĀ­nomic impacts of the panĀ­demic on the olive oil supĀ­ply chains, many Chilean proĀ­ducĀ­ers are optĀ­ing to cerĀ­tify their prodĀ­ucts with the AOS Seal. The stamp ensures that partĀ­ner comĀ­paĀ­nies meet speĀ­cific susĀ­tainĀ­able manĀ­ageĀ­ment requireĀ­ments in proĀ­ducĀ­ing or marĀ­ketĀ­ing their olive oils.

The seal is obtained by memĀ­ber comĀ­paĀ­nies that comĀ­ply with the Chilean governmentā€™s Clean Production Agreement, which sets out nine main goals related to improvĀ­ing susĀ­tainĀ­abilĀ­ity, conĀ­servĀ­ing water, proĀ­motĀ­ing bioĀ­diĀ­verĀ­sity and decreasĀ­ing carĀ­bon emisĀ­sions.

Chilean olive oil proĀ­ducĀ­ers are also workĀ­ing on a national susĀ­tainĀ­abilĀ­ity cerĀ­tiĀ­fiĀ­caĀ­tion, which grants a Sustainable Olive Oil-AOS Seal to those comĀ­paĀ­nies that meet the goals of the Clean Production Agreement.

The goal of the susĀ­tainĀ­abilĀ­ity cerĀ­tiĀ­fiĀ­caĀ­tions is to help set Chilean extra virĀ­gin olive oils apart in a crowded interĀ­naĀ­tional marĀ­ket.


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