UK Olive Oil industry and market overview

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According UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), documents show that of the about 59,000 tons of olive oil marketed in the UK a year – all of which is imported – about 40 percent is believed to be used in processed products and the rest marketed as bottled oil.

Of the latter, about 15,000 tons is bottled abroad and 20,000 tons imported in bulk and bottled in the UK.

The value of retails sales of olive oil the UK in 2011 was £145 million ($234m), up from £140 million ($226m) in 2009, and the extra virgin category accounted for £82 ($132) million and £80 ($129) million respectively.

Defra said it had been advised by industry “that the normal mark up for retail sales is around 50 percent.”

One company alone controls 95 percent of olive oil bottling in the United Kingdom – a fact that may simplify the UK’s compliance with a new European Union olive oil testing regime. That company – understood to be Edible Oils Ltd, part of the Princes group.

From January, EU member states will each year have to conduct at least one conformity check – including chemical and taste tests – per thousand tons of olive oil marketed within them, to ensure the oil complies with its declared category.

sources: Olive Oil Times and Defra

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