Among the most representative industries of the olive-producing sector, we find: the mills or industries of first transformation, the packing machines (some of them integrated within the mills), the refining factories of olive oil waste (pomace or orujo).
According to the AICA report (Food Information and Control Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture) in 2020, there were 324 oil mills in the province of Jaén, 38% of total in Spain, and more than 46% of them are located in the region of Andalucía.
The first product from the olive groves is the olive oil with more than 20% of the world production. However, the olive industry is more than olive oil extraction.
José Antonio La Cal, says that a first product from the olive groves are the “remains of pruning”, which are the cut thin branches called “ ramon” and thicker ones called “leña” ( firewood)
Among some of the main olive by-products generated in the olive mills, is the olive oil waste or pomace, which is used by the pomace oil industries.
Also the “seeds” taken directly from the pomace, can be used to produce thermal energy in the factory and commercialize as solid biofuel, although it requires a previous cleaning and dry treatment.
Other by-products are the “hojin” (little leaves) and the “remains of fine branches” obtained from cleaning the olives in the courtyard and the “wastewater” from the olives washing and from cleaning the courtyards and factories.
Finally, in the refining factories, the so called “pomace” is processed, so they produce and use it as thermal energy and they also sell it as fuel to produce electricity.
In addition to it there are other by-products such as craftworks, mainly objects and utensils made in olive wood, cosmetics and natural products elaborated with extra virgin olive oil.