Farmers in Almeria boosted as olive oil sales boom

FARMERS in Almeria have seen olive crops fall but income rise as olive oil exports to new world-wide markets have boomed. Forty-five per cent of the olive oil produced in Almeria is exported to Italy. 

The second biggest importer of Almeria oil is Switzerland, with 32.3 per cent, and Andorra, with 8.5 per cent. However, producers are now seeking markets further afield and 11 per cent of the province’s olive oil was sold in Jamaica, Japan, Brazil and the USA in the first two months of this year. 

According to the local representative for the Junta de Andalucia Council for Agriculture, Fishery and the Environment, Jose Manuel Ortiz, Almeria ranks 21st amongst the Spanish olive oil exporting provinces. 

In the first two months of this year, the province’s mills exported 56,000 kilos of olive oil, which is 22 per cent more than in the same period in 2012, and made €173,000, which is 104 per cent more. Throughout 2012, revenue from olive oil exports from Almeria amounted to €2.5 million.

For the 2012-2013 campaign, olive trees were harvested on 19,847 hectares of land in Almeria, which is 2.8 per cent more than last year, of which 82 hectares are for table olives, and the rest are used for producing olive oil. 

This is despite the total crop amounting to 50.8 million kilos, 2.2 per cent less than the previous year, mainly due to the heavy rains in October. However, Almeria is the Andalucian province where production of oil has fallen the least. Most of the oil produced, 8.7 million kilos, was extra virgin olive oil. 

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