European Parliamentary Research Service in Olive oil sector

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The European Union (EU) is the largest producer (accounting almost three quarters) and consumer (accounting two thirds) of the olive oil in the world. Olive growing is a feature of sociocultural life in many Mediterranean regions. Olive trees are grown in Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Cyprus, Slovenia and Malta. About 95% of the olive production in the EU is concentrated in Spain, Italy and Greece. Olive oil production and consumption is rising in the world driven by a public positive image.

To enhance this public image and to strength the olive oil industry and the position of the EU olive sector in world markets, the Commission presented to the Agricultural Council meeting an action plan for the EU olive oil sector in June 2012. The action plan looks into six areas:

– International Olive Council (IOC);
– Quality and control;
– Restructuring of the sector;
– Structure of the industry;
– Promotion;
– Competition with third countries;

The action plan describes the findings and outlines the actions to be taken in each of the thematic areas. Most of these actions are covered in the reformed Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020. The objective of this EPRS key source is to show sources of information related to the topics set in the action plan for the EU olive oil sector.


Present and future of the Mediterranean olive sector / N. Arcas… (et al.). Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHEAM) and the International Olive Council (IOC), July 2013. 182 p.
This reports shows that olive cultivation constitutes a key element of the Mediterranean agricultural sector, and Mediterranean countries dominate world olive oil and table olive production and consumption. Production has increased dramatically in the last decades, partly due to the establishment of intensive olive plantations using new production systems. Nevertheless, traditional olive production systems should not be forgotten, as these systems are multifunctional and contribute to rural development, landscape conservation and protect the environment against erosion and desertification. Consumption of olive products has followed similar patterns, and non-traditionally consuming countries are becoming important consumers and importers.

Economic analysis of the olive sector / European Commission, Directorate General Agriculture and Rural Development, July 2012. 10 p. This brief is also available in Spanish , French and Italian .
This brief analyses the situation in the sector (production, structure of farms, area, yields and production, consumption, trade, stocks, olive industry, qualitative aspects and price) the analysis of supply/demand based on a medium-term view of oil production in the EU, the analysis of the economic situation of olive farms.

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