The International Olive Council (IOC), the worldwide body that sets international trade standards for the olive and olive oil industry, revealed during a seminar at the Summer Fancy Food Show on June 30 that worldwide production and consumption of olive oil is increasing, which underscores the need for increased education of consumers on the quality standards, health benefits, preparation and ideal ways to store olive oil.
For 2013/2014, olive oil production is expected to reach 3.098 million tons worldwide, up from 2.425 million tons in 2012/2013. Consumption is also expected to mirror this upward trend, with consumption estimated to reach 3.057 million tons for 2013/2014, up from 3.041 in 2012/2013.
The IOC today is comprised of 17 members, representing 25 olive producing countries. According to IOC Executive Director Jean-Louis Barjol, while these countries account for 97 percent of global olive oil production and 96 percent exports, they represent only 15 percent of world imports. Of the non-IOC countries importing olive oil, the U.S. represents approximately 45 percent of imports. This demonstrates the need for increased education among U.S. consumers regarding the quality standards that have been put in place by the IOC.Global Olive Oil production and consumption is increasing,