Olive oil and cultural impact
Olive oil from the ancient times until today has a parallel course with human civilization and is an important commercial and economic factor.
Through trade, olive oil brought people closer together, contributing to the cultural and religious exchange of ideas among the Mediterranean countries.
Olive oil has inseparable links with many religions such as Christianity, Jewish religion and Judaism, which include it in their rituals, as a means of offering and uniting man with God.
Countries producing olive oil
The 2/3 of the world olive oil production is produced by 3 Mediterranean countries, Spain, Italy and Greece.
However, the quality of Greek olive oil is considered superior and has won most international awards. This is due to the mild climatic conditions of the Greek area, the geographical structure and distribution of the olive fields and the cultivation practices.
The average crop yield for the years 2009-2010 per 10 acres, was 2.67 tons of olive oil for Spain, 2.92 tons of olive oil for Italy and 2.94 tons of olive oil for Greece.
Olive oil production for the years 2013 to 2017, per country / in thousands of tons, was:
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
SPAIN 1782 842 1403 1291 1260
ITALY 464 222 475 182 429
GREECE 132 300 320 195 346
PORTUGAL 92 61 109 69 135
FRANCE 5 2 5 3 6
Which countries consume more olive oil
Traditionally, Greece has the highest per capita national consumption of olive oil in the world with over 24 liters / person.
It is followed by Spain and Italy with about 14 liters / person and then Tunisia, Portugal, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon with about 8 liters / person.
In the last 5 years, there is a significant increase in demand for Greek olive oil from countries such as the USA, Brazil, Japan and China.
What is the global trend in demand for Greek olive oil
The global recognition of the beneficial properties of olive oil and the nutritional shift towards a healthy traditional Mediterranean diet, have led to the increase of the popularity of Greek olive oil internationally.
Thus, many countries have increased their imports of olive oil through access to international distribution networks.
Greece covers the upward trend of international markets by developing advanced cultivation methods and by increasing its national production in olive oil.
According to estimates by the International Olive Council (IOC), in the next five years there will be an upward trend in both demand and selling prices of olive oil due to the emergence of new major markets in Eastern Europe and Asia.