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The global surface of organic olive groves has increased by 180% since 2004

The global surface of organic olive groves has increased by 180% since 2004

2019/14/02 - About 882,899 hectares of organic olive groves were registered worldwide in 2017 (+18% compared to 2016), which represents 8.3% of the total area of this crop (10.7 million hectares). Since 2004, when the data on the use of land and crops were first collected, the area of organic olive groves has increased by 180%, going from 314,809 hectares that year to 882,899 hectares in 2017.

As highlights this report, almost 883,000 hectares of olives were reported to be under organic production in 2017. This represents 8.3 percent of the world’s total harvested olive area (10.7 million hectares according to FAOSTAT).

The main countries in which olives are grown are around the Mediterranean. Spain is by far the largest grower with 2.6 million hectares, followed by Tunisia (1.6 million hectares) and Italy (1.2 million hectares). Greece and Morocco are also important producers. For all these countries, data for the organic area was available.

Tunisia has the largest area of organic olives (more than 254,000 hectares), followed by Italy (almost 236,000 hectares), and Spain (more than 195,000 hectares). Almost 70 percent of the world’s organic olive area is in Europe, followed by northern Africa with nearly 30 percent of the world’s organic olive area. In Italy, the percentage of area under organic production is relatively high (over 20 percent).

In Tunisia, 15.5 percent of the olive area is organic, and in Spain almost 8 percent. France has the highest organic share with 27.3 percent of the olive area being organic. Since 2004, when data on land use and crops were collected for the first time, the olive area almost trebled. The available data indicates that a large part of the total olive area, 18 percent, is in conversion. Thus, an increase in the supply of organic olives may be expected.

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