04 June 1998
Olive oil bleeds soil dry

INCREASED demand for olive oil has seen an explosion in the number of trees planted throughout Europe – resulting in widespread erosion on hill-side plantations.

A new report by the European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism records up to 80t/ha of soil erosion a year.

Yet the industry gets more than £1.5 billion of European Union (EU) subsidies – twice the amount of the EU budgets for agri-environmental measures.

The report says olive oil subsidies are now the biggest single problem for EU fraud watchdogs.

  • The Guardian 04/06/98 page 15 (G2)