Portugal, which is the eighth largest olive producer in the world, should register a “record production” of 150 thousand tons of olive oil in the 2021/2022 campaign, revealed this Friday the largest national association in the sector.
In a statement sent to Lusa agency, Olivum – Association of Olive Growers and Lagares do Sul, headquartered in Beja, said that the campaign “starts on October 15th” and, taking into account data from the National Statistics Institute and Pordata portal, “a record production of 150 thousand tons of olive oil” is expected in Portugal.
In the case of Alentejo, responsible for “85%” of the oil produced in the country, a “record” production is also expected in the new campaign, added to Lusa the executive director of Olivum, Gonçalo Almeida Simões.
Olive oil production in Alentejo can reach “20 tons per hectare”, he said.
According to Olivum, “a flowering that took place without problems”, a “rainfall in the right amount” and “almost absence of pests” contributed to this forecast.
The expected production “is a concerted combination of the sector’s growth, the precision technology applied to the sector and the good edaphoclimatic conditions this year”, reinforced Gonçalo Almeida Simões.
The official also argued that the sector “is not in the ‘top’ rankings in terms of environmental sustainability”, given the “reduced use of water”, a “low application of phytopharmaceuticals” and a “relevant carbon sequestration”.
Portugal is currently the eighth largest national producer of olive oil in the world, with the modern olive grove “responsible for 80% of the national olive oil production”.
The country is still the first in the world “in terms of quality”, by producing “95% of virgin and extra virgin olive oil”, ahead of the United States of America, Spain and Italy, added the association.
In the statement, Olivum recalled that Portugal “guarantees since 2014 its self-sufficiency in olive oil” and that exports “have grown markedly in recent years”.
In 2020, olive oil sales abroad represented “about 600 million”, with “the prospect of surpassing this value” this year.
Investment in the olive sector in Portugal “going from 80 thousand tons in 2014 to 135 thousand tons of olive oil produced in 2019”, also indicated an association.
The companies operating are mostly Portuguese “and it was possible” to attract foreign investment from countries like Spain, England, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland or Denmark”, he added.
Olivum, which claims to be “the largest Portuguese association” in the sector, represents 100 members, 300 farms and 14 mills, in a total of 42 thousand hectares of agricultural exploration in Alentejo and Ribatejo.