More than 750 million olive trees are cultivated world wide, the greatest number of which (c. 95%) being planted in the regions of the Mediterranean. About 3/4 of the global olive oil production come from the European Union, while around 97% of European production comes from Spain, Italy and Greece.
The history of olive oil in our country goes back into the centuries and even today thousands of families are occupied in its production. Greece is the third largest olive oil producing country world wide (after Spain and Italy), while the competitive advantage of Greek olive oil in relation to that of other countries is its fine quality.
About one half of the annual olive oil production in Greece is exported. Greek olive oil exports are estimated for the last five-year period (1994/95 – 1998/99) to have come up to a mean 140 thousand tons per year, while only 7 to 10 thousand tons reflect the bottled product. Greek exports primarily target countries of the European Union, the main recipient being Italy, which receives about 3/4 of our total exports.