As olive farmers, are we being hung out to dry?

Looking back over the past years, we have experienced consecutive dry seasons that have greatly risked the viability of olive farms. My question is whether it is the time for the olive farmer to consider diversity?

Yes, is the most logical answer. Why? For me the idea of monoculture olive farming presents high risk due to droughts and price fluctuation. We normally supply the co-ops who control the pricing with no fixed price guarantee at the end of each season. And most importantly, remember that you only get paid after harvest with no regular cash flow during the year.

We are exploring opportunities to add additional income to the farming operation as a whole making full use of existing assets. We aim to create a regular, monthly cash-flow to spread and reduce the risk which is separate from the olive income. This will give peace of mind as you receive some income weekly or monthly to contribution towards running costs!

I would love olive farmers to unite in this venture, and share experiences and ideas about potential and profitable farming models. We should support, encourage and most importantly inspire each other to revolutionise the industry so that it becomes a pleasure and a success both for those currently committed and more importantly attract the young farmer onto the land.

Hopefully we will develop a financially viable model to encourage young farmers onto the land offering security in a risky business.

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