Olive Oil – Production and Consumption

Globally, approximately 3 million tons of olive oil is currently produced on an annual basis. Nearly 90% of this production is crushed and pressed in the making of olive oil; the remaining 10%, consumed as fruit. Spain currently produces over 44% of the world’s supply of olive oil for human consumption: Italy is second with about 22%. Greece and Tunisia are also major producers of olive oil.

California first began the cultivation of the olive tree and subsequent production of olive oil in the late 1800’s. Although the State has recently designated olive tree cultivation an agricultural commodity priority, at this time, production of olive oil accounts for a mere 0.5% of the world’s production. However, increase in production has been rapidly increasing since approximately 2003. In addition, olive orchards and full scale production are also beginning to appear in Arizona, and Texas. Much of the production in the United States is geared toward “high end” grades to better compete with the less expensive global importation. Domestic olive oil producers currently supply less than 2.5% of the American oil consumption- almost 98% is imported.

Many countries take pride in their olive commerce, as well as quality of product. Major Italian producers take pride for being known as “Citta dell “Olio”, or loosely translated, “oil cities.” This label is easily identified on the large metal containers and bottles found on the supermarket shelf from such oil cities as Lucca, Florence, and Siena.

Greece is far and away the largest per capita consumer of olive oil with a reported (2010) consumption of over 26 liters per person annually. By comparison, the average American consumes less than 0.70 liters annually, however, this number has been increasing rapidly from about 30% consumption in all households in 2005 to about 50% of all households today. Since the renowned “Mediterranean Diet” and all of its heart conscious attributes rely on prodigious olive oil consumption, it is no wonder that Americans are looking to their counterparts in Greece and other Mediterranean countries in pursuit of health conscious food consumption.

Jedwards International imports the following olive oil products from the major producers in the world assuring a reliable and consistent product. Our olive oils are provided in pail, gallon and drum quantities to suit your needs.

  • Bulk Olive Oil-Extra Virgin
  • Bulk Olive Oil-Extra Virgin Organic
  • Bulk Olive Oil-Extra Virgin RBD (refined/bleached/deodorized)
  • Bulk Olive Oil-Pomace: Used in both soaps and culinary
  • Bulk Olive Oil-Pure: Used in culinary and cosmetics
  • Bulk Olive Oil-Squalane: Used as an emollient and moisturizer

Click here to check out Jedward’s bulk wholesale pricing of olive oil.