A 500-ml (one-half a quart) bottle of Cretan extra virgin olive oil was sold recently for the impressive sum of €510 ($580), a price equivalent to €1,020 ($1,160) per liter. The pricey product was made from the ancient olive trees of the region of Ierapetra on the island of Crete and was put up for auction in the Netherlands.
The olive oil was produced by the Eptastiktos co-operative of Crete and was presented in the auction by the people of the firm as a homage to Paul Cooper of the Netherlands. Cooper is considered to be an integral figure in the development of the agricultural economy of eastern Crete, introducing innovative cultivation techniques for the ancient crop.
This year, Cretan extra virgin olive oil is expected to demand very high prices due to its very low production because of extreme weather conditions.
The recent droughts have forced oil producers to brace for yet another very difficult winter due to their small yield. Ongoing drought conditions may mean that there will be even more demand for the product next year.