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Olive farming is an agricultural activity whose purpose is to grow olive trees. Find out more about the subject and the national olive oil market.
The largest olive oil producers in the world are Spain, Tunisia and Italy. In Brazil, olive farming is expanding, mainly in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where there is a climate equivalent to the Mediterranean.
Research into the cultivation of olives in the national territory began in 1940, but it was only in the 2000s that the first plantations emerged, after years of experiments and studies.
Over time, this agricultural sector has developed positively and, today, the country produces excellent quality extra virgin olive oil. Proof of this are the numerous awards that the products receive in international competitions, such as Lagar H olive oils.
Currently, the cultivation of olive oil in the country contributes to strengthening the production chain and helps to expand knowledge of one of the most valued foods around the world.
Find out more about olive farming and the national olive oil market in this article. Check out!
According to International Olive Council (OIC) , Brazil is the second largest importer of olive oil in the world, producing only around 0.6% of its total consumption. In other words, practically 99% of the olive oils we find on supermarket shelves are imported.
But one Brazilian region has stood out in the production of quality olive oil: Rio Grande do Sul.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Olive Culture (Ibraoliva) , around 75% of national production takes place in the southern state, with almost six thousand hectares dedicated to olive cultivation.
In 2022, 448.5 thousand liters of extra virgin olive oil were produced, pointing to a growth of 112% compared to 2021. The data was released by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock and Development of RS (SEAPDR/RS) together with EMATER/RS and support from Ibraoliva.
The good development of olive growing in Rio Grande do Sul is the result of the encouragement and support that the state promotes to producers, through the State Olive Growing Development Program (Pró-Oliva), businesspeople, pioneering and passionate producers who invest in the development of olive growing.
To have quality production, plantation soils need to go through a rigorous correction process so that they are the same (or similar) to the soil found in the Mediterranean.
According to Glenda Haas, adjustments made to the country's soil and climate can change the results of cultivation annually.
“It is expensive to produce olive oil in Brazil due to climate issues, learning, it is still a very new product. We have to correct the soil and the climate can influence an increase or decrease in productivity from one year to the next”, he explains in article for CNN .
According to data from Pró – Oliva, the main varieties of olives grown in the state of Rio Grande do Sul are Arbequina, Koroneiki and Frantoio.
It is even possible to purchase extra virgin olive oil from these fruits at Lagar H, get to know the products .
If olive growing today has support, it wasn’t always like this. To achieve these results, olive cultivation has suffered ups and downs over the years.
In the 16th century, the first olive trees were introduced in Brazil with the purpose of producing lampante olive oil and using it as fuel for lighting lamps.
According to some scholars, the Portuguese crown realized that olive oil grown in the country could compete with that produced on its lands, thus ordering a ban on planting on Brazilian soil.
Despite this, some trees had already been planted and survived the burnings ordered by the crown, being preserved around churches.
This action helped maintain the cultivation of olive trees in Brazil, but delayed the development of olive farming by several centuries. It was only in 1950 that studies turned to the production of olive oil, but success only came around 2008, when the first olive oil was produced on national lands, even if experimentally.
The national olive oil market is expanding. Due to the nutrients and health benefits, consumers have increasingly sought out extra virgin products in supermarkets.
It is undeniable that there is still a demand for imported olive oils, but products grown in areas located in Rio Grande do Sul, Serra da Mantiqueira, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have been gaining space on the Brazilian table.
One of the reasons is that national olive oil is fresher. Unlike imported products, olive oil produced in the country reaches the consumer in the same year as the harvest, without needing to be transported by air or sea.
The fresher the olive oil is, the healthier it is, with higher polyphenol levels and ensuring good nutrition. Therefore, it is necessary for the product to be marketed quickly.
National olive farming is on its way to being one of the most profitable sectors for the country. According to Ibraoliva, around 20 thousand hectares should be cultivated on Brazilian soil by 2025.
Rio Grande do Sul is the region that has the most potential for expansion, being able to expand the hectares for growing new olive trees.
However, it is important to pay attention to the return of olive groves, as the first harvests only occur three to five years after planting.
Therefore, to invest in national olive farming it is necessary to have patience, care and a lot of knowledge about the area to produce quality extra virgin olive oils.
Lagar H operates in olive farming, working with sustainable standards and producing delicious and reliable olive oil. Find out more about the company .