Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I have left you in peace for the last week or so – be grateful because now I’m back and once again the blogs start. Whilst I was in London I took a close look at the new Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband. Of him I will write in the near future but for now just let me say he is less slick than Blair or Cameron but all the more impressive for that!

Since my return I have been catching up on my reading including the Ley del Olivar which aims to maintain Andalucía as a world leader in the olive sector.

Now I have always associated olive oil with France, Spain, Italy, Greece – I guess all the Med countries. However I was rather surprised to learn that currently the olive accounts for 24 per cent of the value of the agricultural production in Andalucía.

It is the principal activity in over 300 municipalities in the region and generates over 22 million work days a year and there are 250,000 families dependent on the income derived from olive growing.

Some 1.5 million hectares of land in Andalucía are dedicated to growing olive trees. That is 60 per cent of the total in Spain and 30 per cent of that in European.

Andalucía produces 40 per cent of all the olive oil in the world and 20 per cent of the eating olives. Of those totals 21 per cent of the oil is exported and seven per cent of the olives.

The Andalucía minister for agriculture and fisheries, Clara Aguilera, says the new law will recognise the “unique place in Europe” of the region’s olive sector. It will set out the strategic role in plays in creating wealth and employment, its social cohesion role and its high value to the environment.

I will leave you to contemplate those impressive facts as you munch an olive with a glass of wine and prepare to cook a meal with olive oil. Or maybe like me you also like your morning toast with olive oil and of course tomato. Enough food for thought there for us all.

1 comment:

PROSPERO said...

For the best part of last century, I understand, most of Spain's olive oil was exported to Italy, where it was re-packaged into those wonderfully picturesque rectangular cans and sold on to the US market as Gen-u-ine Eye-talian Olive Oil. Who do you think might have had something if not all to do with it? No, not Berlusconi, though he is believed to have connections he can't refuse...