Largest olive oil producer

oil producer

Olive oil is the gold of the Mediterranean, is part of our daily diet, and we do not conceive any meal without olive oil. Can you imagine a tumaca bread without olive oil? Neither you nor anyone.

And its consumption is no longer exclusive to the Mediterranean basin, with the Italian, Greek and French brothers, but its consumption has gradually become universal, and in countries where it is not part of their diet, it is already part of it.

Obviously, when your consumption increases, also increases the need to produce olive oil 'in situ', avoiding importing huge quantities of olive oil to, for example, Italy, the largest exporter of olive oil in the world.

Consumption has been increasing thanks to the change of diet of millions of people, who seek a healthier diet, and the olive oil provides many health benefits, contrary to palm, coconut or refined oil, which is consumed in many countries of the world.

This leads us to a question:

What is the largest olive oil producer in the world?

It is difficult to say, because like everything else, there are different leading countries in different fields, and it is good to know the panorama of those that produce, export and consume the most.

This article is an analysis to discover the largest olive oil producer in the world.

Just so you have an idea of ​​the percentages: between 2015 and so far this year, around 2.6 million tons of olive oil have already been consumed in the world.

olive oil

1.- Spain

It may not surprise you that Spain is the largest olive oil producer in the world. Produces 45% of the olive oil consumed worldwide; an impressive amount.

The area that is used is five million acres of olive trees.

The problem for Spain is that most of it is exported to Italy, the country that treats it, and exports it with a higher quality than Spanish oil. Italy, in turn, re-exports it to countries around the world.

Despite the enormous amount of olive oil that our country produces, it is estimated that only 20% is extra virgin oil.

For that reason, Spain has the title of the largest olive oil producing country in the world, but not the best.

77% of the olive oil produced by Spain comes from AndalusiaDespite the enormous production, Spain imports a huge quantity of olive oil.

2.- Italy

Italy produces 25% of olive oil that is consumed in the world, and unlike Spain, it has the fame or title, of producing the best olive oil in the world.

The main characteristic of Italian olive oil is that it has a wide variety of flavors and styles, which, for example, our country does not have. It is estimated that Italy has in its gastronomy, 700 different varieties of olive oil.

Although Italy produces half as much olive oil as Spain, it is the largest olive oil exporter in the world, since it imports a huge amount of oil from other countries such as Spain, mainly, and Greece, and treats them to give them a different variety, and then export them.

That makes Italy the largest importer, also of olive oil, in the world.

3.- Greece

The main ranking may not surprise you, but the nuances make it different. Greece produces about 20% of olive oil that is consumed in the world, competing closely with Italy.

As a consequence of the harsh economic and political crisis hitting the country, many people have discovered that Greek olive oil is special, for two reasons:

  1. 70% of the olive oil produced by Greece is extra virgin oil, surpassing any olive oil producing country in the world
  2. Greece is the country that consumes the most olive oil in the world, due to its diet and millenary tradition

Its production is concentrated in three million acres, with almost 3000 companies dedicated to the production of olive oil, producing 100 different varieties of Mediterranean gold.

Olive oil is mentioned by Homer: its consumption is mythical.

4.- Turkey

Turkey is another country with millenary tradition in the consumption and production of olive oil. Its production is concentrated in the area surrounding the Aegean Sea.

Its strategic position between Europe, Asia and Africa has allowed it to create a market of connections between countries on the three continents, making it one of the largest olive oil producers in the world.

The number of olive trees in Turkey is estimated to be three times that of its total population. According to the World Bank, in 2013, it is 74,9 million people. There are about 250 million olive trees throughout Turkey.

There are many varieties of olive oil in Turkey, but the most appreciated, is the one produced in the Ayvalik area, on the coasts of the Aegean Sea; its flavor is very similar to the olive oil that is manufactured in Italian Tuscany.

5.- Tunisia

Tunisia, despite the punishment it has received from terrorism, awarded to daesh and before, due to the 'Arab spring', it continues to grow and continues to give the note.

Some give him the fourth place, and his situation is something particular. Let's see.

For Tunisia, olive oil represents 40% of the agricultural exports of the entire country, and exporting the vast majority to countries like the United States, and despite everything, Italy and Spain.

In fact, in 2015, it was the world leader in olive oil export, surpassing Italy and Spain. These countries suffered the worst harvest in years due to bad weather and infestations.

The problem is that Spain and Italy imported, but bottled the olive oil as their own and Tunisia was not recognized as the producer of said oil, something that happens to Spain with the oil that it exports to Italy.

That year, the oil exported to Spain doubled, and that exported to Italy tripled.

Therefore, it has started in Tunisia a campaign to bottle the oil in your country, and that they have the label 'Made in Tunisia' (Made in Tunisia).

6.- Portugal

Our neighboring country is also one of the major olive oil producers, and although it has been the victim of neglect, it is gradually recovering. Along with Turkey and Greece, olive oil in Portugal is ancient: Its manufacture dates from the times of the Roman Empire, the Arab occupation and modern times. More than 50% of its production is virgin olive oil of excellent quality.

7.- Syria

Syria is going through a terrible time, the civil war on four or five sides has punished the country, from which it is believed that olive oil was born. It may not be a myth, well the first species of olive tree, was found in Syria, with an antiquity of 6.000 years, spreading throughout Syria until reaching the Mediterranean basin. Until the time the war broke out, Syria produced 165.000 tons of olive oil a year. Hopefully everything returns to normal there as soon as possible.

The countries that produce the best olive oil in the world

olive oil

We have seen that although Spain is the country that produces the mostIt is not the one that exports the most, nor the one that makes the purest oil in the world. Now, to find out which is the best oil in the world, there have been contests, and the most recent and relevant was at the beginning of this year in New York, where the quality of the olives, the time of harvest, if they are evaluated. where they claim to be, the level of purity, etc.

Just as we know where the best wine is, we try to find out where the best oil in the world is. This is the ranking of that contest:

5.- United States

The Spanish brought the olive trees to what was then New Spain, now Mexico, when they colonized America. The territory of the southern United States, especially California, is the largest producer of olive oil in that country, formerly Mexican territory.

4.- Greece

It is the country that we all associate with olive oil, thanks to the novels of Homer and Greek mythology, and of course, because it is part of its gastronomy, Mediterranean brothers, after all.

Of the 168 olive oils, 19 had a gold medal, and 16 silver.

3.- Portugal

In the contest, the Portuguese neighbors obtained 15 gold medals and 6 silver medals, and 12 of their oil varieties are among the best oils of the year 2015 by different specialized organizations.

2.- Italy

Italy, along with Spain, Turkey and Greece have a long tradition of olive oil manufacture and consumption. Italian oils, 99 in total, won 43 awards. 9 of them with the label 'best', and the rest, all, gold medals.

1.- Spain

Yes, our country also has the best oil in the world, and 136 bottles that went to the contest, 73 were awarded prizes: 3 'best' labels, 53 gold medals and 17 silver, that is, 54% of Spanish oils were awarded.

Also the Spanish organic olive oil won the contest.


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  1.   consuelo said

    I adored a Syrian olive oil from Doly, but I can't find it anymore….