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SPANISH OLIVE PRODUCTION FROM ANDALUCIA

Some of the finest olives in the world

Spain is undoubtedly the world leader when it comes to olive production. This country dedicates 2.4 million hectares of land to this valuable crop. Italy and Greece are the other two main producers of olives, with over 1.4 million hectares and more than 700,000 respectively. In Spain, there are more than 300 million olive trees. They produce between 600,000 and 1 million metric tons of olive oil per year. One million metric tons is the equivalent of about one billion litres of olive oil. Spain exports only 20 per cent of their production. That means that on average, a Spaniard consumes about 17 litres of olive oil a year. In contrast, someone in Great Britain or the US will consume just one litre on average.
In ancient times it was believed that olive trees had to be planted near the sea in order to thrive, but modern agricultural techniques have overcome such barriers. One thing hasn’t changed, however, and that is the olive tree’s love of tough, rocky soil.
It is well known that olive trees were cultivated in the south of Spain during Roman times. Numerous artifacts are testimony to the olive’s importance throughout the known history of the Iberian Peninsula – and these include old stone olive presses and other paraphernalia used to process this precious crop.
The Andalucian Olive Company located in the Municipality of Almeria, produces some of the finest quality olives in the whole of Spain. We have been associated with olive farming and the production of extra virgin olive oil for many years picking all our olives by hand, using no pesticides and always with the ultimate respect for the environment.
The Andalucian Olive Company is a family run business with a deep passion for olives and their many health benefits, what started as a passion producing olive oil for family, friends, and neighbours is now a truly global business, selling our olive products including olive leaf, olive soap and of course our exceptionally high quality extra virgin olive oil to many countries around the world. Since the beginning our aim was always to create something organic and sustainable, by promoting the importance of sustainable agriculture, by protecting the environment we can make sure future generations will also be able to enjoy the benefits of nature that we do today.

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ANDALUCIAN OLIVES

Liquid gold

Andalucia's ultimate natural symbol is the olive. These fertile lands give birth to the olive which comes from the tree of the same name. Olive oil is a main component of the Mediterranean diet which is considered by many to be the healthiest diet in the world. Science has investigated all its positive aspects and has been named as Spain’s ‘golden liquid’.

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OUR PROCESS

Sustainable farming

The production of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil comes down to the correct and proper harvesting and gentle olive-to-oil process. Horse manure is used as a fertilizer. The traditional method consists of knocking olive trees with sticks, waiting for olives to fall off. The olives are then caught in a netting spread out under the trees and then picked again by hand to assure that only the best olives are picked for the final production process.
Sometimes the whole crop is picked by hand from start to finish, when harvesting for very fine olive oil production. The highest quality of olive oil is ‘flor de aceite’ (flower of the oil) which is essentially a fine juice that is neither centrifuged nor pressed. It’s the remaining juice that is collected from the olive paste in the process of grinding.

This juice contains all the goods, the strong piquant flavour, the vitamins, minerals and unsaturated fatty acids.

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OLIVE OIL EXTRACTION

Cold Pressed

Cold pressing is a common way to make olive oil without the use of heat or chemicals, this is one of the main reasons extra virgin olive oil is so healthy because it is unadulterated. Cold pressing is the system used to extract the juice from the olives, by separating oil and water that compose them.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is when the olives go through this press within 24 hours of being picked which maintains the lowest possible acidity. To be classified as extra virgin olive oil the acidity level must be less than 0.8%.(our extra virgin olive oil acidity is only 0.3%) Low acidity means there is the highest proportion of polyphenols which are the anti oxidants in the olive oil that are so beneficial to people’s health.

Choosing the Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Compared to only a few years ago, supermarkets are now filled with so many different kinds of extra virgin olive oils which can become very confusing and impossible to judge without being able to taste them. However, learning how to read and understand their labels properly is important when choosing the best extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about choosing the best extra virgin olive oil, go to our olive oil page by clicking the button below.

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