Spain’s GREEN Gold: Now the Most Prolific Producer of Olive Oil in the World

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Pedro Gomez de Baeza, formerly a University of Pennsylvania student started paying attention to the price discrepancy in grocery stores of olive oil back in the early eighties. Back then, it was $10 for Italian olive oil and about half that for Spanish olive oil.

A decade later, he worked with his family-owned estate, La Amarilla in the town of Ronda in southern Andalusia to start the olive oil production process, by revitalizing the property’s soil.

He teamed up with agricultural experts and developed a network of 56 organic olive farmers and cooperatives across five Andalusian provinces. A useful stat: only 3% of Spain’s groves grow organic olives but the small amount accounts for 25% of organic olive groves worldwide.

Maximiliano Arteaga, olive oil expert, has created olive oili that has hints of apple and almond from the sweet arbequina olive, which bears a resemblance to avocados.

They’re focused on agro-tourism, designing an almazara, which offers tastings and background knowledge on olive oil production as well as the history of Andalusia, where the rocky soil produces 80% of Spain’s olive oil.

Repurposed/printed from a Hemispheres article June 2011.


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