The International Olive Council (IOC) publishes its latest market report analyzing the evolution and situation of the olive oil production in Iran, a member of this organization since January 2004 and will host the 47th meeting of the Advisory Committee together with an interregional seminar on quality, marketing and biodiversity, to be held in Tehran next 16 and 17 May.
Iran shares many geographical features and historical roots with the Mediterranean countries, which are home to the major known cultivars of olive. Lying on the edges of the Eastern Mediterranean, it is the cradle of ancient civilisations and the possible birthplace of the olive tree. Much uncertainty surrounds the early history of olive growing in Iran although the olive tree is mentioned in ancient Iranian religious hymns dating back two thousand years ago.
The bulk of Iran’s varietal heritage is to be found in the valley of Sefi-Rud, Tarom and Manjil, some 60–70 km away from the shores of the Caspian Sea. Olive cultivars are distributed across the provinces of Gilan, Zanjan and Golestan in the North and Khozestan and Fars in the South. Some parts of Gilan (Loshan, Manjil, Rodbar, Aliabad, Jodaky, Vakhman, Bahramabad, Kalashtar, Koshk, Rostamabad, and Ganjeh) are the most important olive producing areas in the country.
Most of the olives grown in Iran belong to 10 traditional cultivars: Mari, Zard, Rowghani, Gelooleh, Shengeh, Khormazeitoon, Khara, Dakal, Dezful and Fishomi.
The predominant climate is continental with cold winters and hot dry summers. On the plateau, the climate is arid and rainfall is less than 250 mm per year. Tehran, at the foot of the southern slopes of the Elburz Mountains, receives only 230 mm of precipitation whereas the coastline of the Caspian Sea receives more than 1 000 mm.
The land is often cultivated on both mountainous terrain and elevations between 100 and 150 m above sea level.IOC publishes its market report analyzing olive oil production in Iran,