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Italian olive harvest falls 57%, partly due to extreme weather

Image: AEPF, Olive tree Italy, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence

Extreme weather events such as frosts, heavy rains and droughts are the main drivers of lower olive yields in Italy, according to Professor Riccardo Valentini of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change. Italy has experienced a 57% drop in olive oil production in 2018.

According to Valentini, extreme weather events can make olive trees more vulnerable to disease outbreaks such as Xylella fastidiosa.

Read media coverage here (CNN) and here (Guardian). See also the Foodsource resource How might climatic change affect food systems in the future?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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