Palma.—The olive harvest has begun on Majorca with the family company Caimari Olive Oil saying that quality of its produce will improve this year even though it is predicted that less olives will be harvested than in 2011.

The company, celebrating the Olive Festival in Caimari yesterday, has spent the last 50 years devoted to producing a quality local olive oil. Once the harvest is complete, the fruit will be taken to the company's plant for processing and pressing.

Oli Caimari's director, Catalina Mateu explained that at a national level, it is predicted that the harvest will be down by as much as 50% this year due principally to the fact that 2011 was a bumper harvest. “It is the natural cycle of olive production that after a really good year, the following one is significantly lower,” claimed Catalina Mateu. On Majorca though, the hurricane force squall that battered the Tramuntana mountain area in September has also affected the overall olive harvest.

She said that there is such a great difference between the areas of Majorca so far as olive growing was concerned, with some mountainous areas hardly producing any at all. “From what we have gathered so far though,” she furthered, “the quality will be excellent. “Although it's a bit early to finalise production figures,” said Mateu, “I don't think we shall be as badly off here as growers are likely to be on the mainland.”