Around the world through the Associated Press agency, the thefts do olive trees in Greece, due to its high prices olive oil.
The rise in prices in olive oil has made olive trees a target for criminals.
The burglaries in warehouses, the dilution oil high quality products with lower quality products and the falsification of shipping data are increasing in the olive growing areas of the Mediterranean countries and of course Greeceas reported by the Associated Press,
Worst of all, according to the publication, is how there are gangs that use chainsaws to steal the heavy brancheswhile they do not hesitate to take even whole trees from unattended crops.
When a whole tree is felled, the thieves cut it down and then load the pieces onto a truck, selling the wood to timber merchants or firewood sellers, while supplying the oil mills with the fruit, i.e. the olive.
It takes years for the olive tree to recover
According to the owner of the olive mill, Nilos Papachristou “robbers look for olive trees that have heavily laden branches and cut them down».
Mr. Papachristou, who in addition to the olive press also maintains an olive grove in a fourth-generation family business, adds that “so, not only do they steal our olives, but they cause serious damage to the tree. It takes 4-5 years to get back to normal“, he said.
“The situation is horrible»
Thefts lead some growers to start harvesting early, meaning they accept lower yields to avoid long-term damage to their trees. This includes Christos Bekas.
In particular, Mr. Bekas, who has 5,000 olive trees, was attacked repeatedly by thieves before he decided to harvest early. That required more than 2.5 times more olives by weight to produce one kilogram of oil than last year, he said.
“And all this after spending nights guarding our fields“, he said. “The situation is horrible“, he added.