SEVERAL British supermarkets have admitted that they could be selling olive oil produced in a way that kills millions of birds each year.
They have now promised to investigate the harvesting process used by their suppliers, including many in Spain.
Several companies in Spain – the world’s biggest producer of what is termed ‘liquid gold’ – Italy and France harvest at night. The colder temperatures preserve the aromatic characteristics of the olives better. However, this practice uses bright lights that dazzle the birds and cause them to die by being crushed by the machinery, a problem not encountered during the day.
An investigation carried out by UK newspaper The Telegraph found that the shelves of some supermarkets including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, could be stocked with oil produced in this ecologically destructive method.
Although the first two could not confirm whether the brands they sell use this technique, Tesco said it is already investigating how it will collect olives for its oils throughout this year after many of its buyers expressed concern about the issue.