World leader in the production and export of table olives, Europe has always been able to demonstrate its expertise through food trends and the needs of consumers around the world.
With a pedigree stretching back nearly 3,000 years, it really is no wonder olives from Europe are a by-word for quality. Since the arrival of olives in the Iberian Peninsula (modern Spain and Portugal) around 1000 BC, generations of olive growers have been honing the techniques and processes that go into producing this delectable fruit. In fact, this evolution is ongoing and contributes to the production of even higher-quality European olives. Organic farming is increasingly common and in four EU countries, olives are the principal organic crop. In Spain alone, organic-olive production accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s total land dedicated to organic agriculture. Centuries of expertise, a willingness to develop and try new methods of production and, of course, the ideal climate all come together to make olives from Europe an exceptional addition to any occasion.
The quality and accessibility of olives from Europe clearly resonate with Canadians. The continued (and increasing) importance of olives from Europe for Canadians’ consumption habits is evident in the data. — 80 per cent of olives consumed in Canada come from Europe and European olives from Spain have increased their share of the Canadian market from 42.8 per cent in 2016 to 50 per cent in 2020. In fact, Spain is pre-eminent in this area, not just in Canada but around the world. Thanks to its excellent climate, rich soils and centuries of expertise, Spain punches above its weight in terms of olive production: With just 16per cent of the world’s olive trees, Spain produces 21 per cent of the world’s olives and is responsible for 30 per cent of global exports, making it the largest producer and exporter of olives in the world. What is notable, however, is that Canadians have unquestionably come to see European olives from Spain as the best choice for their homes and tables.
What isn’t to love about European olives from Spain? These staples of the Mediterranean diet are low in calories and packed with nutrients but sacrifice nothing in terms of flavour. The fact that they’re affordable, easy to store and available everywhere — from convenience stores to supermarkets — means it’s incredibly easy to bring a touch of Mediterranean warmth absolutely anywhere. And this Mediterranean inspiration can extend beyond the plate—European olives are at the heart of southern Europe’s culture of sharing food; they are the perfect way to set the stage for a lively get-together. Most important of all: It is impossible to eat just one!