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June 13, 2022

How much olive oil is consumed in the world?

How much olive oil do you think is consumed in the world? Olive oil is a healthy oil that has become very popular thanks to the fact that it is the foundation of the Mediterranean diet. In recent years, more and more families are using olive oil in their homes.

It is estimated that around 3 million tons of olive oil are consumed on the planet every year. Spain is the world’s largest producer of olive oil, accounting for about half of this total. After Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco are the other countries that produce the most olive oil. However, the difference between Spain and the rest is huge. In a normal season, Spain produces four or even five times more olive oil than Italy.

It is interesting to note that, in recent years, countries such as China, the USA, and Australia, which were not previously associated with the Mediterranean diet, have taken notice of olive oil, and have experienced a notable increase in consumption and production.

Worldwide, olive cultivation occupies some 11.5 million hectares, of which 2.5 million are in Spain. Olive groves can be found in more than 60 countries around the world, some as far away from the Mediterranean as Australia or China.

In terms of olive oil production, it is estimated that there are around 12 14,000 olive mills in the world. In Spain alone there are some 1,800 olive mills, the most modern and largest farms on the planet.  Andalusia counts only 800 olive mills, obtaining around 80% of all the olive oils produced in Spain. Spain is not only known for producing the best olive oil in the world, but also in large quantities, supplying not only the domestic market, but also the international market.

Interestingly, if we look at consumption, Spain is not the world leader for very little: the Greeks are in first place in the world, with an annual per capita consumption of 11.2 kilograms, while the Spanish are second, with 11.1 kilograms, only behind Italy and Portugal, in third and fourth place. Spaniards, in second place, consume 11.70 liters per person per year, followed by Italy and Portugal, in third and fourth place, with 8 kg for the Italians and just over 7 kg for the Portuguese. 

This consumption has had a substantial economic impact, with a turnover of over 1,300 million euros. Stunning results for a business that employs tens of thousands of people and relies on the domestic economy of a huge number of households.

What do you think? Try Spanish olive oil and you will see why it is the best and most consumed in the world.

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