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Olive oil prices surge due to drought and disease in Spain and Italy

Salads have rarely been so expensively dressed after a combination of drought and disease pushed the price of olive oil up 10% so far this year, amid warnings from suppliers that harvests are the worst they have seen.

The Italian government has declared a “state of calamity” in the provinces of Lecce and Brindisi on the heel of the country, where olive groves are being attacked by a bacterial disease nicknamed “olive ebola” . Up to 1m centuries-old olive trees could be felled in one of the most picturesque tourist spots of Italy in an attempt to contain the problem.

Maarten Heerlien

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