An Alternative Source – Morocco Free From Xyella Fastidosa

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The Times recently reported on the ongoing problem of Xyella Fastidiosa amongst EU supplier countries of olive oil.

“Just when you had embraced a Mediterranean diet, a greedy-guts by the name of Xylella Fastidiosa comes along and eats your lunch. The latter may sound like an Italian gourmand, but is, in fact, a tree-eating bacteria borne by an insect called the meadow spittlebug that has devastated the olive trees of southern Italy. In Puglia, ten million olive trees have been infected, and last year the country’s overall olive oil production was down by a half.

Symptoms of X. fastidiosa on olive trees in Puglia (Southern Italy).
Symptoms of X. fastidiosa on olive trees in Puglia (Southern Italy).

With droughts in Greece and floods in Spain and an infestation of the olive fly, oil production in Europe has been badly hit. Factor in a growing Chinese appetite for olive oil and you have a shortage comparable to the Opec oil crisis of the 1970s.

This has pushed prices up by 20 per cent, according to some observers, and, in an industry that has been notorious for fraud, there are fears that quality could be compromised.”

The Alternative : Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil

These are just some of the reasons why we launched Morocco Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Direct from the foothills of the magnificent Atlas Mountains in Morocco, we are delighted to have introduced Morocco Gold, the new luxury standard in extra virgin olive oil to the UK and international markets.

Launched in early 2018, our rare, ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil is derived from hand-harvested olives, grown in a previously undiscovered region, resulting in an award-winning oil with a fresh, green, fruity taste.

Morocco Gold is natural, unfiltered, and unblended. It is made solely from Picholine Marocaine olives, which are rich in health-enhancing polyphenols. Our incredible oil is for health- conscious, discerning food lovers and culinary connoisseurs.

Morocco Gold sets a new standard for authenticity, provenance and quality. Uniquely, we include the results of our annual testing on each and every bottle of Morocco Gold so our customers can see at a glance the guarantee of extra virgin quality.

Morocco has been producing high-quality olive oils from the time of the Romans. It is also free from the Xyella virus that is devastating so much of the European olive crop. It represents a sustainable and secure source of high quality, extra virgin olive oil.

Morocco Gold is now available through high-end retailers like Fortnum & Mason, also directly to our customers throughout the USA, Europe, as far afield as Japan and Singapore as well as in the UK, via our website.

Morocco Gold not only brings a wonderful tasting, superior quality extra virgin olive oil to the UK to satisfy the growing interest in culinary experiences and healthy eating, it helps local Moroccan communities, particularly women. Empowering women to participate in agriculture emphasizes gender equality, gives them greater influence over household income, which typically helps to reduce household poverty and benefit children.

We are delighted to have brought this pioneering product, Morocco Gold to the UK opened up this country as a new source of supply and helped to re-establish excellence within the olive oil sector.

About Xyella Fastidiosa

Xyella fastidiosa is a xylem-limited fastidious bacterium which causes several plant diseases of economic importance: grapevine Pierce’s disease; citrus variegated chlorosis; peach phony disease; plum leaf scald, olive scorch; as well as leaf scorch diseases on almond, coffee, oleander, pecan, vaccinium, and amenity tree species.

Xyella fastidiosa is thought to originate from the American continent. The outbreak in olive trees in Southern Italy, as well as the presence of the bacterium in Mediterranean plant species in the natural and urban landscapes of Southern Italy (Puglia), Corsica and Southern France, Islas Baleares and mainland Spain represent a significant change in its geographical distribution and constitute a major risk to many plant species in the European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) region. In all infected areas in Italy, France and Spain, phytosanitary measures aiming at the eradication or containment of the disease are being taken. 

Geographical Distribution

The distribution below is given for Xylella fastidiosa on all host plants (maps for subspecies are under preparation). For many years, X. fastidiosa remained confined to the Americas. In 1994, it was first noticed in Asia, in Taiwan causing leaf scorch on Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia).

In the 2000s, it was also reported causing Pierce’s disease in some Taiwanese vineyards. In the EPPO region, the finding in Puglia (Southern Italy) represented the first confirmed detection in Europe. The introduction pathways of X. fastidiosa into Asia or Europe are unknown. However, it can be noted that EPPO member countries (e.g. France, the Netherlands, Switzerland) have intercepted several timesX. fastidiosa on coffee plants imported for ornamental purposes from South America. 

World Distribution Of Xylella Fastidiosa
World Distribution Of Xylella Fastidiosa: (yellow: present – purple: transient) – map generated in 2018-07