IT’S A FRECH OLIVE SEASON
Look at this light in the olive trees : Its shines like a diamondsAugust Renoir Frenche painter (1841-1919
As it is well known the autumn is the time of the collecting of the olives in the countries around the Mediterranean basin of which some begins the picking from the beginning of the season that extends until the end of November or December in fact the harvest of the olives depends on many factors; the variety of the olive, the maturity of the fruit and the climatic conditions, but also its commercial destination.
The Moroccan tree fruit consists mainly of olive tree with an area of over one million hectares spread over
ten regions, the most important are the region of Fez-Meknes and Marrakech-Safi which alone account for 54%. of the olive-growing area.
Studies to determine the origins of olive growing in Morocco, supported by the remains of the Phoenician and Roman sites, of Volubilis and Lexus in particular, reveal that they date back to the first millennium BC; the presence of oil mills and amphorae constitute tangible proof of its age, linked to the colonizations of Mediterranean cultures.
The patrimony of Moroccan olive growing is made up of 96% of the population variety “Moroccan Picholine”, consumed as table olive, broken green or ripe black, it has an average yield of oil, is of excellent quality, with a high content of oleic acid.
In addition, it has great resistance to freezing (it retains its fluidity down to – 12ºC), hence its use for canned products. However, other varieties are also planted such as “Meslala”, also consumed as a table olive, Picholine from Languedoc, mainly concentrated in irrigated areas (regions of Marrakech, Beni Mellal, Safi), Ascolana dura, Sévillane are intended for the extraction of edible oil.
Impacts of the strategic plan ” Green Morocco Plan”
on the olive growing sector (2008-18) :
Area Expansion : 1.073.000
Production Increase : 1.414.000 T
THE OLIVE OIL
The crushing of the olives is carried out by modern industrial mills whose quality of treatment processes are qualified to international standards as well as by agricultural cooperatives which are approved and controlled by ONSSA. The oil extracted is then classified according to several qualitative criteria, mainly the level of acidity in order to be marketed:
Extra virgin olive oil. This is the best quality type of olive oil. It has an acidity of less than 0.8º and an impeccable taste and smell.
Virgin olive oil. Lower quality than the previous one, may have up to 2 degrees of acidity and slight defects in odor and flavor.
THE OLIVE TABLE
The preparation of table olives in brine is carried out by agrifood units, which integrate into their preparation and treatment procedures the food safety recommended by the HACCP method (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), and also prepared by farmer’s cooperatives who have the obligation to comply with and respect the rules of public health hygiene by the National Food Sanitary Security Office (ONSSA)
The finished products are presented in various forms; whole olives, pitted, sliced or flavored with ingredients (thyme, bay leaf, basil, pepper, etc.)
The international and local marketing of the products of the sector depends on the seasons and of course on the price factor, on average Morocco exports 12,000 T of olive oils and 70,000 T of table olives prepared in brine and is positioned as a major international supplier in this segment. The main markets for table olives are France, the United States of America, Italy and Germany, while olive oil exports are mainly destined for the United States of America, Spain and to Italy.
International specialists in the sector forecast in this 2020-21 season a drop in global production of 5% compared to the previous season, while in Morocco operators hope for olive oil production of 140,000 tonnes despite water stress of the season end.
The local food distribution network is mixed, so the production of table olive oil, which covers 20% of the national need for table oil, and table olives are sold in supermarkets and in weekly markets in rural areas, local shops or directly by agricultural cooperatives via specialized kiosks while Internet sales remain low for several reasons; infrastructure costs and IT resources; lack of suitable web platform.
In this view, the Food & Beeyond platform has set the objective of providing operators and professionals in the sector with an Internet sales area and thus facilitate access and use of this digital channel which reveals its daily use the profitability and commercial performance in these pandemic times