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With the spiraling economy and resurfacing troubles in Spain, Spaniards and olive producers of Spain alike are hit hard.  The downed economy causing headaches to olive producers and everyone else linked within the sphere of Spanish influence doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise, but the recent light in “fraud” or “no fraud” debate in questionable olive oil products in Spain has caused the market for advil to sky rocket.  The Spanish government stating the issue of concern as due to the “lack of proper storage” created an outbursts of complaints claiming the guilty suspect is due to fraudulent oils, a similar case we’ve seen last summer in Italy…..

Andalusia under fire for blaming olive oil preservation, not fraud (ootimes)
Tough time for Spain’s olive oil stock market (ootimes)

Note:
-I was unaware of MFAO (olive oil futures, of Spain) until just recently, (due to it being a local market in Spain) but truthfully anyone could have foreseen this outcome once you put a few equations together and analyse the data like a baby figures out how to use a sfork.  Though once the olive oil exchange market is outfitted in the bigger public market (and perfected away from “scandals” and crushing competitions) perhaps maybe then could we efficiently forecast how much olive oils could yield to our investments?  As you can see I’m still a little skeptical to this approach despite personally being far more openly welcoming and unbiased to any and all ideas.  However, with the growth of US and Aussie domestic producers, combined with the expansion of olive oil imports across the world, perhaps this is another vehicle to jump on next time we have a few cash to play? (or if BofA, Cisco, GE, or Microsoft start to look ugly)

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One of the more ongoing issues on relying on products undercutting local growers.  More prevalent in Europe and a visionary condition if the US hadn’t made strides to support local farmers and producers.  Although with the worsening economy, alternatives in cutting down on expenses may instead lead to unwanted revolutionary trend…

Here, French locals (FDSEA to be exact) are infuriated by their chain grocery stores purchasing cheaper products from outside the country, while more and more of the local growers are forced to find alternatives to compensate for their losses (“farmers market”).  While the compensations are a short-term relief, they’ve already begun taking drastic measures like protesting for stringent import tax, or in this case raiding incoming Spainsh produce trucks “Mad Max style(here).  Although it’s important to note this surge of reprisal was resulted from the after-effect caused by the E Coli. situation Spain was heavily blamed for (and heavily lost $), but later rebutted due to the virulent bacteria later established to have originated from a German farm.(here!)

Perhaps a bit too broad a topic, however Spain’s relaxed labour regulations have to be factored into the same reason Spain is leading the global olive oil industry…Basically this cause and effect is a no win situation for anyone (except for maybe the Spanish government and buyers of Spanish products); Spanish farmers work under cheap labor barely making a living, importing countries hurt their own domestic growers, and competitors are withered away like a decomposing food (no, not like Mc*onald*s) or transforming into one, “Nightrider”.

Classic!

How Do We Measure Quality?

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How do we measure quality? Is it by price? Company prestige? Availability? Experience? Durability? Or a mixture of many comprised together? Some things are just difficult to grasp due to its significant varieties and choices while other things are simply easier to formulate. For cars, high quality is measured for its luxurious smooth ride supplemented by its array of advanced technological features or a simple durable car that’s long lasting, great mileage and solid resale value. For clothes we could consider fabrics or where it’s made. Polyester or cashmere? Commando or hand knitted? And as for food, well they’re simply isn’t a way to label quality like in cars or clothes.

With food, there are multitude of varieties from all over the world.  One simple apple could be worth a penny where in another world could cost 10x that amount.  The difference in how we see quality makes what we call quality.  Despite the cost of transportation and federal administrative jargon, the more we like of a few well rounded rare items, the more we begin to perceive an item as quality than the rest.

Japan is infamously known for their incredibly jaw aching price for fruits, or food for that matter.  But unlike the processing, harvesting, and distributing system we have in the US, Japan is highly concerned of being nit picky.  A great well known example are melons and fruit box (yes box, not basket).  A superior fruit only due to the specific inspections they undergo, the shape, size, taste, how it’s grown, how much on each vine, are meticulously calculated from growth to harvest.  The end product is nothing less than perfect.  Moreover, this procedure is manipulated amongst a whole range of fruits to accommodate the fruit box.  And like inspecting a newborn Spartan, each deformed byproducts are discarded once again reinforcing only perfection.

The way they recognize perfection ends up becoming their quality reassurance.  Price is definitely mind boggling, but it sure does taste great!