By way of introduction, we must know that the great importance of olive groves in Andalusia is not only a consequence of the historical process, which dates back to the ninth century BC.
At present, the role of olive oil is outstanding for being an essential part of our economy, representing over 30% of final agricultural production in Andalusia, for its decisive role in job creation, as an element in the social and territorial cohesion and to become part of our culture and our diet.
This understanding and the basis on which it stands, we emphasize that the area of olive cultivation in Andalusia is 18.33% of the world, and a 41.94% of the world corresponds the production of olive oil.
Agro system of olive
We understand it as an ecosystem in which, besides the olives, there are trees and other resources such as soil, spontaneous plants, rain, water, fauna.
As well as other plants that are grown in or kept on the edge, irrigation water, etc.. In short, the olive is not just a crop, is the medium in which the lives of many Andalusians happen, is its landscape, its importance is not only economic but social and environmental.
In Andalusia, the olive has an important ecological development, from 9083 ha. in 1996 to 32,690, irrigated with a total of 35,582 hectares, at the end of June 2003, representing about 40% of the total ecological olive state.
By province, Cordoba, with 17,600 ha. and producers 1044 is first, followed by Sevilla in 5895 and has 298 producers, and Jaén in 4063 and has 287 producers. The number of mills and bottling is 64, which is responding to demand.
Since the inception of the CAAE, it has been developing a wide activity, organizing technical meetings, meetings addressing the various problems of the sector by supporting research and studies by attending events related to the promotion of organic oils.
Composting is being promoted with the use of products derived from olive groves to the need to add organic matter to ensure fertility, responding to a problem with the optimal use of resources.
A wide campaign is conducted for several years about the plantation sector boundaries, streams, non-arable land, with the benefits they pose is to defend the heritage and landscape.
These days an agreement has been signed between CAAE and the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (CSIC), for a study and characterization of the Erosion and soil management on farms enrolled in the Andalusian Committee on Organic Agriculture, specifically in some 200 farms. This represents an important step in a more organic management of farms.
Why eating Organic Olive Oil?
Consumption of olive oil for our health contains a number of advantages such as: Vitamin E, prevents the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol, which would lead to the appearance of atheroma or atherosclerotic plaques. Polyphenols, with antioxidant, prevents cell aging and the formation of cancerous substances. Monounsaturated fats, lowers levels of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol. In diabetics, the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil favors the reduction of blood glucose levels, thus needing lower doses of insulin. It's the best oil for frying, olive penetrates food very little, while it creates a crust that prevents the loss of constituents of the food. It contributes to the calcification of bone, avoiding problems in adulthood.
While these are some of the many benefits of consuming olive oil in our life, there are more.
In this line, when we have to decide to buy an olive oil, it must be borne in mind that the quality can be very variable depending on the specific information that bears on its label. Therefore, we stress that knowing how to identify an Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from olives from one production can have its rewards, not only for its organoleptic and physical-chemical, already known, but by the improvement of farmers' income the value of marketing the final product and also to protect the natural environment.
Referring to the farmers' income, we must bear in mind the difference in the delivered price for the farmer in the olive mill. That is, while the olive production is paid for with a price range 0.48 to 0.78 euros / kg., olives with conventional methods of production are paid between 0.3 - 0.42 euros / kg. This is due, no doubt, to the limited supply of oil that exists in the organic market and the increasing demand for it, especially for their intrinsic quality in international markets.
Only the European Union, according to data from the 2001/02 marketing year, sells more than four million kilograms of olive oil production, putting in a first position with 90.29% of the total. Closely followed by Asia, with sales of 229,115 pounds, and the Americas with 210,615 pounds of marketing. A total of 12,200 pounds would be for Spain.
Regarding work of the Andalusian Committee of Organic Agriculture (CAAE) in this market Organic Olive Oil, monitored and certified more than four million kilograms of olive oil production of organic which are sold in the European Union's total, reaching be the most important state-level, one of the highlights of Europe and occupies a distinguished place among the five most relevant agencies to organic certification worldwide. While leading the list of European sales for Olive Oil with Organic certification is the responsibility of France with CAAE, exceeding two million kilograms, a total of 47.94%. The second place is occupied by Germany with 774,422 pounds of Organic Olive Oil, a total of 18.14%. Almost on par and in third place, is built with 628,190 pounds of Spanish Olive Oil Organic, representing 14.72% of total final. As we can see through these sales, the organic olive grove is a place in Europe, reaching, as discussed above, the sale of 4,268,791 pounds, fully controlled and certified by the Andalusian Committee of Organic Agriculture (CAAE).
On the study, all countries of the world with eco-certification is considered by the CAAE, France once again placed in the top sales of Organic Olive Oil, plus with followers in Europe, including Germany and UK, with the first 774,422 pounds and 612,000 pounds respectively. In fourth and fifth breaks European scale, with 146,433 pounds appearing USA and Japan, with sales of imports are becoming increasingly interesting, with 123,092 pounds.
Following the same path in sales, we must emphasize that Andalusia is the main Commonwealth of Spain in olive oil is exported to other countries, so much so that the market has Andalusian Olive Oil as the first for customers in countries such as Italy, in conventional production.
These market data reveal that the main customers come from Andalusia to stress once again that the purchase and sale of Organic Olive Oil is now open, without a doubt.
The benefits of consuming olive oil Green
- Vitamin E: Prevents the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol, which would create the appearance of atheroma or atherosclerotic plaques. These atherosclerotic plaques impede the flow of blood through the arterial system.
- Polyphenols: With antioxidant action, preventing the aging cell and prevent the formation of cancerous substances.
- Monounsaturated fats: Decrease levels of LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol.
- In diabetics, the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil favors the reduction of blood glucose levels, thus needing lower doses of insulin.
- It facilitates the hepatic bile salt synthesis from cholesterol, thus preventing an excess of cholesterol and facilitating the digestion of fats.
- It decreases the acid attack to the esophageal mucosa, and slows stomach emptying duodenum, and reduces gastric acidity, which reduces the risk of gastric ulcers.
- It is the best oil for frying, as chemical changes that occur during frying with monounsaturated fats are small and slow. If frying is correct, Olive penetrates very little in the food and also creates a crust that prevents the loss of constituents of the food.
- It contributes to calcification, avoiding bone problems in adulthood.
- Their level of fatty acids largely met all nutritional needs.
In short, the beneficial effects of olive oil on the body are:
- Circulatory: helps prevent atherosclerosis and its risks.
- Digestive system: improving the functioning of the stomach and pancreas, and hepatobiliary level in the bowel.
- Skin: protective and tonic effect of the epidermis.
- Endocrine system: improving metabolic functions.
- Skeletal system: stimulates growth and promotes absorption of calcium and mineralization.
For its vitamin E content and its antioxidant effect on the cell membrane, olive oil is especially recommended for children and seniors.
Author: Francisco Rodriguez Home.
President of CAAE