Greece’s Olive Oil Industry Is Starting to Feel the Effects of the Debt Crisis

Olive growers are struggling to keep up with payments to olive oil producers

There might be an olive oil shortage from Greece if the economy doesn't improve.

As Greece deals with its economic bailout deal, the country’s olive oil industry might be compromised.

Greece’s banks have been closing as the country’s economy struggles to stay afloat, and the crisis is affecting everyone, including olive growers, according to Reuters. There are half a million olive farms, and most of them helm small family businesses.

The farmers are demanding for cash for supplies that the distributors cannot pay, and many olive growers are afraid that the banks will take over their accounts. As a result, farmers will not accept large payment transfers, opting for cash payment instead.

Chris Dimizas, managing director of extra virgin olive oil producer Greekpol in the northwestern Peloponnese, told Reuters: "They want it in cash or they prefer to keep their olive oil in their tanks."

Dimizas said that Greekpol does not have enough bank notes to keep paying for farmers and “deliveries will stop immediately” if they cannot find a raw material supplier.

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Greece is the third-largest producer of olive oil in the world and has been cultivating olives for thousands of years.