Sunflower oil crisis: if the March planting season is missed, food companies could suffer incalculable damages

8 March 2022

Atlante shines a light on the sunflower oil crisis that is occurring at the stock and food production level in Italy and Europe.

Sunflower oil is used in a wide variety of food products, from fried foods, cookies, mayonnaise and spreads, to stuffed pasta, sauces, pesto and all products intended for large-scale retail trade.

March is sunflower planting season. Should Ukraine – the main grower of sunflowers in the world – be unable to plant and harvest sunflowers due to a lack of fertilizers coming from Russia, stocks would be irreparably compromised.

In a few weeks, European countries will run out of stocks and all food companies will face a crisis that will lead to stock depletion and the consequent lack of products on supermarket shelves.

After gathering testimonials from producers and from many companies with which it works, Atlante is moving to request a temporary dispensation from relevant authorities to allow alternative oils to be used, so that sunflower oil production can be saved over the coming months.

Natasha Linhart, Atlante CEO, comments: “Sunflower oil is an ingredient of global importance. In the current conditions, we must at least find a temporary solution that allows the food industry to use oils such as rapeseed, coconut or palm, to cope with the crisis that is coming. Moreover, the absence of sunflower oil means prices will skyrocket, but it’s not all about the prices – the most worrying factor is availability. The alarm we’re sounding is about stocks: if we do not act now, current stocks will not be sufficient.”