ENVIRONMENT AND OLIVE GROVES
Environment and olive groves
Several scientific studies have shown that olive cultivation has positive effects in the environment and that sustainable agronomic practices can increase the CO2 fixation in soil organic carbon levels.
Woody crops such as olive trees are particularly effective compared to other annual crops in capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it as carbon in organic soil. In addition, olive trees can be grown in areas with less than 450 mm precipitation, typical areas of semi-arid Mediterranean climates that are at the limit of the distribution of forests and store as much or better amounts of carbon than forests.
There is now a scientific consensus that the carbon balance of the olive tree is favourable and the olive tree actually has a positive impact and provides a real “environmental service” to society. According to the studies published to date, the production process of one litre of olive oil emits up to 2.5 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere, but one olive tree can remove up to 25 kg of this harmful gas from the air. Hence the growing importance of the olive oil industry, not only for the health benefits, but also for the capacity of its production process to mitigate the effect of climate change.
Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental problems generated by production processes. For this reason, the environmental impact of a product influences the purchasing decision as much as the quality or price. In this sense, the Spanish olive oil industry has won the battle because consuming olive oil is synonymous with quality and environmental awareness.