36% of the world’s extra virgin olive oil is produced from 3% of the world’s olive groves

36% of the world’s extra virgin olive oil is produced from 3% of the world’s olive groves
  • PublishedNovember 28, 2022

The Olive grove in Seto, accounting for only just over 3 percent of the surface of olive groves on the planet, generates 36 percent of the total EVOO produced in the world. The study of AGROMILLORA has been carried out by Juan Vilar Strategic Consultants and has been presented this morning in the framework of the Fruit and Vegetable fair Fruit Attraction. The aim of the study is to explain the impact of the Olive Tree in Seto in the world olive growing in terms of efficiency, sustainability and biodiversity in combination with a more optimal use of land and water.

Olive trees are currently cultivated on 5 continents, with an area of 11.6 million hectares spread over 66 countries. Of this, 3.3 percent of the area is under olive groves. That is, 400,000 hectares worldwide. This model has achieved a turnover per season of around 2 billion euros, and an accumulated investment of 7 billion, employing more than 44,000 people paid with 90 million euros per year. On the other hand, it contributes about 450 million euros per season to the producing states in the form of tax revenue, both for investment and for the economic activity itself.

The Olive Grove in Seto is synonymous of a modernization of agriculture that guarantees: the future supply of food according to the evolution of the planet’s population, an improvement of the economy, fixation of the population in the territory, solving the problem of labor shortage in rural areas, sophistication of employment, avoiding waste and loss of food, and, if it is exercised in a rational way, improving biodiversity, and it is environmentally friendly.

More than 7,000 million of accumulated investment and 2,000 million euros in annual turnover, 15% of the total.

The hedgerow olive grove generates an olive production of almost 3.3 million tons (15.48% of the total olive produced in the world). The overall value of this average production for the last five seasons was almost 1.8 billion euros. The direct turnover per season of the hedgerow olive grove is close to almost 2,000 million euros per year or season, which represents 15 percent of the total average turnover obtained in these seasons.

In each campaign new investments are required, tractors, harvesters, mills, treatments, irrigation, execution and a long etc… Therefore, the total investment described amounts to more than 637 million euros per year, whose tax effect, according to the above data according to the taxation / country, and its idiosyncrasy, would be just under 100 million euros.

“Wherever it is possible to transform, the hedgerow olive grove fixes more population to the territory than any type of olive growing, because what settles people in the territory is wealth” Juan Vilar.

The recent development of hedgerow olive groves in the Alentejo region has been an excellent example of the compatibility of an economically profitable culture, which creates value in the sector and in the region, with the promotion of environmental and social development indicators, i.e. with a significant impact on carbon sequestration, on the provision of ecosystem services and on the stabilization of the population in the territory. Following the implementation of these plantations, per campaign, more than 700 people have been given the opportunity to work on a stable and permanent basis.

Since the beginning of hedgerow olive grove planting, both directly and indirectly, from the field itself to the auxiliary industries, more than 44 thousand jobs have been created around the world.

Sustainability and efficiency

It has been scientifically proven that the hedgerow olive grove is a biodiversity booster, as it allows, through plant cover and the optimization of resources, especially water, to curb erosion and soil losses. With its 35 thousand hectares planted annually (according to the estimates of the 3 campaigns studied), it somehow counteracts, vegetatively and gradually, the 420 million hectares of forest that have been lost worldwide since 1990.

Another environmentally positive effect is the CO2 fixation of the olive grove in general, and of the hedgerow olive grove in particular, that is to say, it turns out to be a CO2 sink. Hedgerow olive groves would account for almost 5 percent of the total, i.e. between 0.7 and 1.5 million tons per year, with an annual increase in fixation of almost 100 tons according to the data analyzed, which is in line with the so-called European Green Pact.

For the first time the olive oil sector has a competitive tool, the hedgerow olive grove, to produce EVOO on a sustainable coast and to be able to gain market share in a relevant way in relation to other vegetable fats.

Italia Olivicola
Written By
Juan Vilar