Spain, Greece, and Southern Europe may be experiencing an olive shortage due to poor climatic conditions, but one Northern California olive grower and processor may actually be benefitting from the lack of Mediterranean varieties.
West Coast Products produces natural brine-cured jumbo olives, which compete with chemically cured, lye-treated olives from the Mediterranean region, according to a press release. Olinda’s Sevillano variety, one of the largest green specialty varieties, is in abundance this season, with availability to domestic and foreign markets. Buyers are beginning to see the differences between naturally cured California olives and the imports. “Buyers are calling and telling us they never knew imported green olives were cured with lye,” said Dan Vecere, General Manager, West Coast Products – Olinda Brand.
For European farmers, olive crop yields for 2013 dropped more than 70%, especially for queen size olives. Market condition reports project 2014 prices to increase by more than 50%.
Olinda Brand Sales Manager Mark DeCamilla says that end users, such as chefs and bartenders, are taking notice that the company’s California olives “have a firmer texture and a fresher taste than the industrially cured imported olives.”
Could we begin to see more consumers turn to California olives? Stay tuned to DeliMarket TV as we follow the olive shortage.