The Farming Practices Of Olives That's Hurting Wildlife
Hello sweeties, some of you may know there has been recent news about the olive industry and the night harvesting with machines that are causing the death of thousands of wild birds. I have mentioned about this on Twitter 19th May 2019, just a day before I posted this blog and there has been a lot of feedback about it.
Because of this news coming to light I made the decision to instantly suspend all purchase of olive oil and contact my olive oil suppliers to see if they can pinpoint where my current stock of olive oil comes from. This has proved to be unclear, there's a lack of transparency and information so I will not be purchasing any ingredients or supplies that contain olives or their derivatives anymore. I have a new olive free (& palm free as always) soap formula that I will roll out once the current stock with olive ingredients has been sold. It's a lovely formula with six different oils and butters and can only improve on the original olive oil formula. The price for small hold, traditionally harvested organic olive oil is too high for using in the volumes I do to make soap. The price of each bar of soap will go up 10p from £4.70 to £4.80. It is much cheaper than if I was to use the alternative olive oil as mentioned above and I hope you understand the need for this.
There looks like there is some good news, there is the Olive Alive Project which is acting on conserving and bringing biodiversity back to olive farming and they have a logo for olive oil products that have been farmed in line with their regulations and contributing to the goals of this amazing project highlighted by the wild bird conservation group SEO Birdlife (in Spanish) here:
The project Olive Alive has a website:
Sign this petition to ban night time olive harvesting that's harming wildlife here.
Also a question that I am following has been submitted to the EU Parliament and is waiting to be answered here:
If there is any information you would like to share that is in line with the needs to ban this unnecessary and barbaric harvesting practice, I will be glad to receive it.
I have been in contact with Olivares Vivos and they are incredibly helpful. They have given me a list of suppliers that are practicing the protection of biodiversity and ethical olive farming along side their organisation. Olive groves play a big role in supporting wildlife. I also have this statement from Olivares Vivos:
"The vast majority of the Spanish, Portuguese or Italian production of olive oil is produced in traditional plantations which are managed by small farmers. Less than 4% of the Iberian olive groves have super intensive morphology, and only a proportion of this 4% is harvested at night."
So in light of the news about night harvesting, this is good news from the Iberian olive farming regions. However, we still need to press for a change to this 4% night harvesting to be banned. I am currently talking to some Olivares Vivos olive oil suppliers to see if I can reintegrate olive oil back into my products.
Ethical Consumer have also been doing their bit to research into UK market brands and their olive oil supply chains. Its good to know there are more teams out there heping to watchdog ethical farming and industrial practices! Thank you Ethical Consumer! Here's a link to their findings so far:
If you have any information regarding this issue please feel free to get in touch with me via our contact form in the main menu.
Thank you for reading.
~ Michelle (Chief Savonnière)