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Study reveals the impact of the olive sector on the national economy


The city of Beja hosted the 10th edition of Olivum Talks, an event organized by the Association of Olive Growers and Wine Presses of Portugal that brought together more than 220 professionals and experts from across the country to discuss the challenges and future of the sector, with the participation of the Minister of Economy and the Sea, António Costa e Silva.



This national meeting of the olive oil sector was divided into two discussion panels moderated by OLIVUM's Executive Director, Susana Sassetti, and focused on the challenges of water management in olive groves, the impact of olive oil on the Portuguese economy and updating the data from the study 'Alentejo Leading International Olive Growing', commissioned by the Association of Olive Growers and Olive Mills of Portugal.


One of the points highlighted was the remarkable growth in olive oil exports over the last 20 years. According to Pedro Santos, Managing Director of Consulai, one of the companies responsible for the study, exports have increased 12 times in volume and 18 times in value. This performance has contributed significantly to the national economy, representing a positive balance of 515 million euros in the trade balance, highlighting olive oil as one of the country's main economic drivers which, for the first time, has surpassed the export figures for wine.


In fact, Portugal has all the conditions to become one of the top three olive oil producers in the world. According to Juan Vilar, one of the experts present at the Olivum Talks, "the weight of extra virgin olive oil is particularly significant in Portugal, due to the high percentage of modern and mechanized olive groves, and also to the great evolution of olive oil mills, with the largest modern and high-capacity industrial park in the world". The expert also said that, in the last campaign, "Portuguese olive groves were the most productive on the planet, surpassing Spanish olive groves".


Face a esta realidade, estima-se que a produção nacional, este ano, se situe nas 150.000 a 160.000 toneladas de azeite,. No entanto, a OLIVUM estima que Portugal poderá vir a atingir uma produção entre 250 a 300 mil toneladas. “O facto de ainda estamos em processo de crescimento e reconversão das culturas tradicionais para culturas em sebe, faz com que a produção ainda não esteja em pleno, mas esperamos consegui-lo no prazo de  4 a 5 anos”, de acordo com Pedro Lopes, Presidente da OLIVUM.


Nesta data, em que se celebrou o décimo aniversário da Associação de Olivicultores e Lagares de Portugal, ficou também marcada por uma homenagem ao Eng.º Armando Sevinate Pinto, 1.º Presidente da Assembleia Geral da OLIVUM, cujo contributo foi incontornável para o crescimento e desenvolvimento do setor na região do baixo Alentejo.




Source: AGROTEC, 6 December 2023

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