The International Study On Olive Oil Production Costs

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The first step was to classify world olive growing into seven different cultivation systems:
S1: Traditional rainfed on steep slopes
S2: Traditional irrigated on steep slopes
S3: Traditional rainfed on moderate slopes
S4: Traditional irrigated on moderate slopes
S5: Intensive rainfed
S6: Intensive irrigated
S7: Superintensive irrigated

A set of questionnaires was designed to collect the necessary data for the 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 crop years. The questionnaires were completed by the experts designated by the member countries.

To arrive at the cost of production of one kilogram of olives, respondents were asked to detail the costs of fertilisation, plant health protection, soil management, pruning, harvesting and irrigation in each system (S1 to S7). When aggregated, the costs of each of these cultural practices represented direct costs.
Indirect costs, amortisation, transport and processing costs were then added to these direct costs to arrive at the overall cost of producing one kilogram of oil in each country.

Results and Representativity
A finite population of olive farms was chosen for the study. The IOC member countries that supplied data for the study account for 9 954 169 ha or 89 pc of the world’s olive orchards. The Working Group was also able to collect data on new producing countries where olive crop area amounts to 293 000 ha, representing a 2.7 pc share of world area.

Although the results are only preliminary and are undergoing review before they are presented and published, they are totally coherent and coincide almost fully with the findings of other analogous studies carried out by the two study leaders using the same or similar methodology.

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