OLIVE growers fear that the killer bacteria Xylella fastidiosa could be set to spread massively with the announcement of a new outbreak in Spain, which is Europes largest olive oil producer.
The bacteria, which decimated olive groves in Italy, is already present in France with outbreaks found on the Riviera and in Corsica but a threat from Spain could have a widespread impact due to the large-scale imports of fruit and vegetables from the peninsula.
Corsican olive growers have called for more restrictions on Spanish produce being imported on to the island especially as thousands of olive trees have been imported over the past year.
Their federation has said Spanish imports should be halted in the wake of the new outbreak and moves made to increase the islands own olive production.
The Agriculture Ministry says there are 329 zones infected by Xylella fastidiosa in France, with 309 in Corsica. In mainland France, Xylella fastidiosa was found at the end of last year in Villeneuve-Loubet and Mougins in Alpes-Martimes after being first found in Nice and Théoule-sur-Mer in 2015.