The olive tree has deep roots in the lands around the Mediterranean, which accounts for 97% of world olive oil production. It loves the Mediterranean climate, requires little care and provides fully valorisable parts: fruit, leaves and wood.
Olive oil production is a very demanding technological process which consists of three stages:
- grinding the olives into a paste
- malaxing the paste to extract the olive oil
- separating the olive oil from vegetable water and solid residues.
For centuries people used to grind the fruit of the olive tree by rolling huge stones or pushing levers. At a later phase, olives were ground with granite stones that turned around an axle, with the use of human or animal power, water or steam.
At the beginning, olives were hand-picked. In the 20th century people started beating or shaking down the olive tree and gathering the olives in special nets.