Olive facts

The olive tree was first cultivated around 6,000 years ago in the Mediterranean countries making it among the first fruit trees to be cultivated by man.

95% of the world olive orchards are located in these Mediterranean countries.

Spain is the worlds largest olive oil producer (30%). Italy is next at 24%.

99%+ of olive oil consumed in the United States is imported.

Recent studies indicate that less than 20% of imported olive oils meet U.S. Standards for Extra Virgin

The United States consumes less than 1% of the world olive oil production

The United States, nearly all in California, produces less than 1% of the olive oil it consumes.

The Spanish variety of Arbequina is far and away the most heavily planted variety in California with well over 1 million trees in orchards.

Of the hundreds of varieties of olive trees only about ten varieties are heavily planted in California.

Olive production and oil consumption is expected to grow in the United States by 20% per year for the next ten years.


What is Extra Virgin?

What is Extra Virgin?

By the Numbers:

Traditional olive orchard spacing is 30 ft. X 30 ft. or about 50 trees per acre. High Density (HD) spacing is can be as close as 12 ft. X 18 ft. rows and up to 230 trees per acre. Super High Density (SHD) spacing can be 4 or 5 ft. X 12 ft. rows and 700 to 900 trees per acre. SHD orchards are trellis grown and machine harvested and can produce up to 20 tons per acre.

Olive trees begin full production in 4-5 years of age and fully mature in 10 years.
A mature olive tree can produce up to 150 lbs. of olives.

An olive contains roughly 20% oil by weight. This means 100 lbs. of olives has approximately 20 lbs. of oil. We are only able to extract 80 to 90% of that oil. A good extraction rate with state-of-the-art milling is around 45 gal. of oil per ton of olives.

100 ml. = 3.4 oz. 1 gal. = 128 oz. = 3,764 ml. =
250 ml. = 8.5 oz. Ten 375 ml. bottles
375 ml. = 12.75 oz. Fifteen 250 ml. Bottles

Some Good Reading:

California’s Olives, Olive Oils, and Vinegars by Richard S. Calhoun E-mail: rscalhoun@saber.net

LINKS to More Olive Info:

California Olive Oil Council (COOC): www.cooc.com
UC Davis Olive Center: www.olivecenter.ucdavis.edu

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