The International Study On Olive Oil Production Costs

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Commissioned and supervised by the management of the International Olive Council and coordinated by Maria Isabel Gómez from the IOC Statistics Department, this international study has been led by two experts with a solid track record in the subject area, José María Penco and Juan Vilar, who have drafted the study and its conclusions.

The first is an agronomist and project manager with the Spanish Association of Olive Growing Municipalities (AEMO) while the second has a PhD in Economics and is a lecturer at the University of Jaen in Spain, although currently on leave of absence. Both were chosen as study leaders by the experts from IOC member countries sitting on the IOC Working Group briefed to carry out the study.

A summary follows of the working approach and methodology applied and the preliminary results and recommendations.

Introduction and Methodology
The world olive oil sector generates a turnover between 6 500 and 11 000 million euros per crop year and provides a livelihood for more 30 million people in 7 million households. Olives are grown on 11 million hectares of land in 47 producer countries dotted across the five continents.

At present, olive oil is consumed in more than 160 countries.

According to the data for the 2012 crop year, 3.1 million tonnes of olive oil are produced and consumed compared with 184 million tonnes of all edible oils and fats, of which 24 million are of animal origin. Put differently, olive oil accounts for 1.7 pc of all edible vegetable and animal fats.

These figures show that world olive oil production is a strategic economic sector and an influential player in the international arena. It is also a sector where production and consumption have their own idiosyncratic characteristics.

The objective of the five-part study has been to ascertain the cost of producing one kilogram of virgin olive oil, expressed in euros, in different olive cultivation systems. The first part deals with the methodology and covers the analysis of the different cultivation systems proposed, the preparation of the survey questionnaires, the analysis of the results and other aspects. A description is then given of olive oil production in the participant countries in the study on the basis of a series of figures permitting a comprehensive sectoral diagnosis.

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