Israeli Olive Oil Industry Prepares for Competition

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Harvested olives are transported right after harvest to an oil production house. The olives are collected from harvesting nets that are located under olive trees. A mechanical harvester is attached to each tree and vibrates for 10 to 15 seconds. The vibration works its way up the tree and the olives come raining down on the nets. The harvested olives are used for oil production at the same day. Photo by Gili

Just in time to provide some succor to an industry that will soon be facing fierce competition, the Israeli olive oil industry is holding a contest to determine which olive oils are the best. The Family Olive contest next Thursday will see over 50 different private label, small farm and boutique producer olive oils compete for the title of Overall Best, Best Oil for Cooking, Best Blend, Children’s Favorite, and other categories.

The contest is being organized by Eran Galili, considered one of the world’s expert “tasters” who rates olive oils around the world, along with the Ecological Olive Oil Press at Beit Lechem Haglilit, in northern Israel.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon signed orders that slashed import duties and increased permitted amounts of imports on dozens of food items, including olive oil, which means that the country will soon be flooded with cheaper – and as far as Israeli producers are concerned, inferior – olive oils.

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