2020/16/03 - The extraordinary meeting of the Spanish Council of Ministers held this Saturday made official the declaration of the state of alarm advanced the day before by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. Oil mills, cooperatives and private companies in the sector are trying to adapt, with time-trial measures, to these adverse times. From Mercacei Publishing Group we stand with them, with you, because this virus can only be stopped with union, solidarity... and information. The hours, days and weeks that lie ahead will not be easy but we are going to put all possible means to accompany you and keep you informed.

Contagion, 28 Days Later, Exteminium, I am Legend, World War Z... Until now we saw all those films from afar and skepticism. We knew that they were the product of science fiction, scripts invented to entertain us on a Saturday in the quiet after-dinner of our home. Nothing made us predict that the day would come when we would really have to consider a quarantine confined at home.

According to experts, while the victims of COVID-19 increase and the global economy is shaking in its wake, the markets for olive oil have been affected, although they continue to advance at a relatively normal rate, without anyone being able to predict the outcome. Italy is the most affected European country, practically the entire population remains in quarantine, something that inevitably affects the transport of products such as olive oil. Spain, by far, is keeping pace. Despite all the more obvious obstacles, intra-EU exports from the EU appear to continue without major disruption, mainly due to the trend of accelerating sales, pushing stocks out of fear of what might happen the next day. And it is not surprising, in the current context in one day everything changes.

What seemed unlikely a few days ago has become a reality. Spaniards, finally, have stayed at home, but it has took a great deal of effort. Manuel Vilas said in his column in the newspaper El País, that we have not yet succumbed to excessive alarm. Perhaps it is that Spaniards have an instinct as secret as it is wise that makes them immune to terror. "Because terror is always the worst plague," he concluded.

It may be true, we may no longer know how to differentiate between reality and fiction. And it is that even with a health alarm such as the damn COVID-19 sales of olive oil do not rise! Rice, pasta, and cans of vegetables are running out... but EVOO does not seem to be a first -or second- necessity. In this sense, we can only stay calm and wait to see what happens. Because attending the closure of oil mills, cooperatives and private companies in our sector is a disgrace that not only we never imagined, but that will bring serious economic consequences in the long term once the famous curve of those infected begins to descend.

From Mercacei Publishing Group we want to make all our media available to the sector to transmit a message of support. We must remember that now more than ever, agriculture, the food industry and distribution are vital to our society. We will continue to carry out our role with rigor and professionalism, but also with responsibility, highlighting once again the role played by the agri-food sector in general, and the olive sector in particular, as a lever of support for the whole of society in these days.

We hope that this quarantine finds you with good extra virgins in your pantry. There is nothing sadder than an isolation without the verbena of flavors and healthy benefits of this food. We remind our subscribers, advertisers and friends that we must deal with this situation with courage. We join the appeal made by the Spanish government with our own: #WEARESTOPPINGTHISVIRUSALSOFROMTHEOLIVESECTOR

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