Olive Oil Production by Country

Olive Oil Production by Country

Olive oil is one of the most popular cooking oils worldwide and an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Produced by pressing olives, olive oil has been a dietary staple in regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea for thousands of years.

Today, while European countries still dominate olive oil production, it has spread to many other regions. This article will provide an overview of the top olive oil-producing nations.

1. Spain

Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil, accounting for over 40% of global production. Olive cultivation in Spain dates back to ancient times when the Phoenicians introduced olives around the 8th century BCE.

Today, there are over 250 million olive trees planted across Spain with the key producing regions being Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha, Catalonia, and Extremadura. High-quality Spanish olive oils receive protected designation of origin (PDO) labels like Baena, Sierra Magina, and Les Garrigues.

2. Italy

Italy is the second biggest olive oil producer worldwide, making up about 15% of production. Olives and olive oil have been integral to Italian cuisine, economy, and culture for centuries.

Major olive growing areas include Puglia, Calabria, Sicily, Tuscany, and Campania. Italy produces many extra virgin olive oils with protected designation of origin such as Terra di Bari, Chianti Classico, and Terre di Siena. Well-known olive varieties include Frantoio, Leccino, and Coratina.

3. Greece

Greece comes in third for global olive oil production at around 10%. The olive tree has always been treasured in Greece, referred to as the “blessed tree” in ancient times. Important regions for olive cultivation include Peloponnese, Macedonia, Crete, and the islands of Lesbos and Chios.

Famous Greek olive oils include Kalamata from the Peloponnese, and Aegina, Lesbos, and Chios island olive oils. Greece has a high consumption per capita due to the prominence of olive oil in Greek cuisine.

4. Turkey

Turkey is the fourth biggest olive oil producer worldwide. Turkish olive oil production has expanded in recent decades through agricultural investments.

The Aegean and Marmara regions of Turkey are important olive-growing areas. While most Turkish olive oil is domestically consumed, exports are increasing to Arab countries, Russia, and Europe.

Here is a list of 16 major olive oil-producing countries in the world:

  1. Spain – Largest producer, accounts for over 40% of global production
  2. Italy – Second largest producer, accounts for around 15% of global production
  3. Greece – The third largest producer, accounts for around 10% of global production
  4. Turkey – Fourth largest producer and growing production
  5. Tunisia – Fifth largest producer, accounts for 4% of global production
  6. Morocco – Significant producer in North Africa
  7. Syria – Historically large producer, output has declined due to conflict
  8. Portugal – Notable producer, especially in the Alentejo region
  9. Algeria – Growing producer of olive oil
  10. Argentina – Major producer in South America
  11. United States – Small but growing domestic olive oil industry
  12. Australia – Significant new player in olive oil production
  13. Chile – Emerging olive oil producer in South America
  14. Iran – Middle Eastern producer with long history of olive cultivation
  15. Lebanon – Arab country with olive oil tradition and production
  16. China – Small but increasing production and consumption

The olive oil industry remains concentrated in the Mediterranean region, but production is growing in new areas like South America, China, and Australia to meet rising global demand.

Conclusion

The top olive oil-producing nations of the world are located around the Mediterranean basin, highlighting how this iconic cooking oil is integral to regional cultures and cuisines.

While historic olive-growing regions in Europe like Spain, Italy, and Greece continue to dominate production, olive cultivation is spreading to new areas and expanding output to meet global market demand for this healthy cooking oil. Check out here more lists by countries and data lists.

FAQs;

Q: Which country produces the most olive oil?

A: Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil, accounting for over 40% of global production.

Q: Which countries are the top 5 olive oil producers?

A: The top 5 olive oil-producing countries are Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Tunisia.

Q: How much olive oil does Italy produce?

A: Italy is the 2nd largest producer of olive oil, accounting for around 15% of total global production.

Q: What region of Italy produces the most olive oil?

A: Puglia is the largest olive oil-producing region in Italy, followed by Calabria, Sicily, Tuscany, and Campania.

Q: Does Greece produce a lot of olive oil?

A: Yes, Greece is the 3rd largest olive oil producer worldwide, accounting for 10% of total production.

Q: Which part of Greece produces the most olive oil?

A: The Peloponnese peninsula and Crete are major olive oil-producing zones in Greece.

Q: Is olive oil production increasing worldwide?

A: Global olive oil production has increased over the past few decades and is expected to rise to meet growing demand, especially in emerging markets.

Q: What countries outside of the Mediterranean produce olive oil?

A: Notable olive oil producers outside the Mediterranean include Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, the United States, and South Africa.

Q: Does the United States produce olive oil?
A: While small compared to major producers, the United States has a growing domestic olive oil industry centered in California.

Q: Which country consumes the most olive oil per capita?

A: Greece has the highest olive oil consumption per capita due to its cultural importance and prominence in Greek cuisine.