Crop will be much later than last year
The Olive Growers Council (OGC) announced Thursday reaching agreement with major black ripe olive processors for prices paid to table olive growers for their 2014 crop.
Following several weeks of negotiations with Bell Carter Olive, Corning and Musco Family Olive Company, Tracy, both agreed to a field price schedule for growers.
Prices are some of the better prices received by the farmers in recent years.
The 2014 tonnage will be short of normal and is estimated to range from 32,500 to 50,000 tons according to industry experts.
Unfortunately, the San Joaquin Valley will be well short of normal whereas Sacramento Valley growers have good tonnage of Manzanillo olives but are short on the Sevillano variety.
“Grower prices have been flat since the record crop of 2010 that set an industry record at 164,000 tons. The current price schedule reflects increases although with increased cost of production and continued labor problems, table olive growers are still struggling financially,” said Adin Hester, president of the Olive Growers Council.
“We are pleased processors recognize the need to improve farm gate values to provide a more positive outlook for the industry but we need more pricing improvement for growers to compete with other cash crops. With decline in olive acreage in California, farmers continue to evaluate their production options based on better returns from other cash crops,” he added.
“The industry is also being battered by cheap, poor quality black ripe olive imports that negatively impact grower returns in addition to U.S. Government foreign aid programs that finance foreign olive producers,” said Hester.
The 2014 table olive harvest will begin in California shortly after Labor Day.
The 2014 table olive price schedule per ton: For Manzanillo variety it will range from $350 for sub-petite to $1,350 for large. For Sevillano variety, it will range from $300 for extra large L to $1,200 for super colossal.