World Olive Day
In 2019 UNESCO declared November 26 to be World Olive Day. A year after this declaration specialists, universities and agricultural ministers in Puglia held a virtual conference on November 27th 2020 to discuss the cultural, economic and historical impact the olive tree has had in the mediterrean. The olive tree has shaped mediterraean society since the ancient Greeks. Throughout time, this tree and its oil has contributed to many aspects of life both practically and symbolically.
In November of 2020 the discussion turns to the immense losses the mediterraean has suffered in the last seven years since the Xylella Bacteria was discovered in Puglia and the importance of saving this industry. According to Savino Muraglia the President of Coldiretti Puglia, previously the Puglia region alone produced 12% of the entire global olive oil production. It was not only the most important region in Italy but also one of the most significant regions for olive oil production in the world.
The combination of erratic weather conditions due to climate change and the Xylella emergency has led to a 48% loss of production in the area. However, due to society becoming more health conscience and the fact that the covid pandemic has more people cooking from home, the global demand for olive oil has been increasing. Muraglia states that in the last five years, Italy has consumed the most amount of olive oil – about 501 million kilos. This is followed by Spain, who consumed 483 million kilos and the United states that consumed 320 million kilos of olive oil.
The olive tree has played an important role in society from antiquity till the present day. It is vital that we find solutions to contain the current Xylella emergency and relaunch the olive oil industry in Puglia. Please join us in this battle to allow our future generations benefit from gifts that olive trees give.
For more information on Unesco’s World Olive Day, click here.