to caution. There is colored edible oil sold as olive oil on social media
Given the sky-high prices, many Portuguese believe they are doing good business by buying from the so-called producers.
The price of olive oil has risen sharply in recent weeks. Due to the rapid inflation, many Portuguese try to buy this food item at the lowest possible price and end up buying counterfeit products.
“Either due to the scarcity of olive oil in Portugal, or the high prices charged, there is allegedly a greater risk of fraudulent practices in this sector,” ASAE explains to Newspaper “pass”.
In this scenario, many scammers have taken to social media to take advantage of the situation by selling bottles of the green liquid for less than five euros. Many publications claim that it is artisanal olive oil. But in general, many people buy “oil mixed with food colorings” instead of the promised “virgin olive oil,” according to what the authority describes.
The situation is seen as alarming, as counterfeit products tend to increase due to rising prices. “It is very worrying. (…) It is a crime that now pays more than last year, for example,” confirms Mariana Matos, Secretary General of the Casa do Azette association.
ASAE has conducted numerous inspections, many as a result of complaints. In the past two years, it has already opened “18 criminal cases for olive oil counterfeiting and fraud involving goods totaling approximately 100,000 liters of seized oil and olive oil worth more than 400,000 euros.”
Olive oil has been one of the most controversial topics in recent weeks, mainly due to the record prices at which it is sold. For example, Minipreço charges prices about three euros higher than the market average for a similar product. A bottle of Gallo extra virgin olive oil costs €13.62, while Oliveira da Serra extra virgin olive oil costs €13.86.
Department store chains justify higher prices with production losses and inventory shortages. “Due to the lack of stock of products, purchases made from suppliers from September 1 onwards already reflect the announced increases with the consequent transfer to the linear stores of our stores,” the official source from Dia Portugal explained to the “Jornal de Notícias”.
The crisis that the sector is experiencing is due to the bad weather conditions that spoiled this year’s crop. In Spain, one of the world’s largest olive oil producers, the price of a liter began to rise sharply due to drought. This phenomenon is already reflected in the national market.
The prices charged in the neighboring country are practically the same as those set in Portugal, so an increase must be inevitable. Olive oil prices are up 70 or 80 percent compared to the same period in 2022 – and the trend is for them to continue rising.